LINGAYEN, Pangasinan - NCR team captain Amani Aguinaldo led his team to victory, drilling two goals against CVRAA to take home the crown in the Palarong Pambansa 2012 finals of the secondary boys tournament here.
From last year’s 7th place, the National Capital Region came out on top in this year’s tournament, dominating the match with superb ball possession and numerous attempts under the blistering noontime sun.
Aguinaldo nailed the opening goal early on in the first half, scoring on the 16th minute off a cross from Alex Rayos Jr.
He followed it up with another goal on the 46th minute when he was able to salvage an NCR free kick deflected by CVIRAA.
Central Visayas struggled against their tougher, quicker opponent, and was forced to play defensively for most of the game.
NCR, represented by the FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraws Junior Football Team, breezed through the tournament, clobbering most of their opponents on their way to the finals.
They defeated Central Luzon 11-0 on Tuesday, May 8, and posted the same score against Davao the next day.
NCR's Coach Vincent Santos said he expected more from the team after their overwhelming performance in the elimination rounds.
“Of course we’re happy, we’ll take the win although we had more expectations in the game. I guess the boys were also tired, the weather here isn’t really football weather, it would’ve been better if we played later in the afternoon...but...I guess...We’ll take the win,” he told Rappler after the match.
From studying in Davao, Aguinaldo was recruited by FEU to join the junior football team. He received free education and allowance because of the sport.
This is part of the reason for NCR's sudden rise in football standings: In FERN's attempt to boost their football team in preparation for the UAAP, they have offered sports scholarships to standout athletes from various regions.
FERN's outstanding showing in regionals qualified them to represent NCR.
Other members of the NCR Football Team are Paolo Bugas, Harold Alcoresa, Arnel Amita, Janryl Balanueco, Diomar Caruscay, Dave Deloso, Van Rey Diaz, Angeloue Val Jurao, Audie Menzi, Resty Monterona, Chy Villaseñor, Ray Joseph Joyel and Justin Marc Calamba. - Rappler.com