NCR, Central Visayas rule Palarong Pambansa 2017 football

ANTIQUE, Philippines – The National Capital Regional Athletic Association (NCRAA) is the secondary football champions for the second straight year after dealing host region Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) with a 3-1 beating on Saturday, April 29.

In the elementary football contest, the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) halted a two-year title drought by edging WVRAA, 1-0.

NCR also bagged 5 of the 7 special awards including the Most Valuable Player honors which went to Orlan Joseph Togores while Keith Absalon was given the Golden Boot award and named as the Best Striker as well.

Other NCR booters who were given special awards are Marc Jessar Tobias as Best Defender and Jason Edward Blanco as Best Goalkeeper. 

Western Visayas' Geri Martini Rey was named as the Best Midfielder while the Negros Island Regional Athletic Association (NIRAA) went away with the Fair Play award.

NCR scored all of its 3 goals in the first half with Shanden Vergara, a former national junior team member, finding the back of the net twice.

Lipay kay nakagoal ko,” said Vergara. (I'm happy because I scored goals).

Before the finals match started, head coach Bob Salvacion reminded his booters not to be complacent.

'Wag lang maging complacent kasi there were a couple of matches na naging ganyan yong problem namin na we scored early goals, we get confident with the goals and the opponents get back at us.” (Don't be complacent because there were a couple of matches when we had this problem.)

Secondary Football

At the football pitch in the Binirayan Sports Complex, in his usual fashion, Absalon once again opened the scoring for NCR with an early goal in the 8th minute. Absalon received a high pass from Fidel Victor Tacardon and immediately volleyed in a goal that WVRAA’s goalkeeper failed to save.

Just two minutes later, NCR scored its second goal via Vergara who followed through on a failed attempt of Absalon on a pass from Tacardon.

A few minutes before halftime, Vergara once again found the back of the net on an easy goal from the left inside the penalty box.

In the second half, WVRAA employed man to man markings while NCRAA also intensified its defense.  

WVRAA avoided a goal shutout courtesy of Johnny Toledo in the 57th minute. However, it proved to be WVRAA’s lone goal of the match as the NCRAA went on to defend its title.

Bronze in the secondary division went to Calabarzon who defeated NIR, 2-1.

Elementary

Over at the St. Anthony’s College, Simon del Campo was able to find a hole in WVRAA’s defense and sealed the title for CVIRAA just five minutes before the end of regulation.

Head coach Glen Ramos had to adjust their game several times and asked his booters to swap roles in a snap as the opponent was not only bigger but also faster.

Del Campo received a pass from Xyrhyle Ybanez who dropped at the center to draw one of the defenders leaving Del Campo to just contend with two defenders whom he beat for his goal.

Del Campo was named MVP for his efforts and was also given the Golden Boot award. He was also named as the Best Striker. 

Other CVIRAA booters who came away with special awards were Joseph Kyne Garces as Best Midfielder and Cyril John Christian Calo as Best Goalkeeper. – Rappler.com