ANTIQUE, Philippines – Defending secondary football champs National Capital Regional Athletic Association (NCRAA) will try to retain their title when they play host region Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA) on Saturday, April 29, at the Binirayan Sports Complex football field in the 60th Palarong Pambansa 2017.
NCRAA, manned by players from Claret School, De La Salle Zobel and Far Eastern University, outsmarted Calabarzon, 4-2, with Kieth Absalon scoring two of the team’s goals.
Absalon opened the team’s scoring early in the 3rd minute of the ballgame with a volley that went over the goalkeeper’s outstretched hands and straight into the back of the net.
Shanden Vergara attempted a second goal for NCRAA but the goalie was ready for it this time.
Calabarzon was able to equalize with a header in the 21st minute, but just a few seconds before halftime, Absalon received a pass from Vergara, defeated his defender and scored from the right side of the goal to end the first half at 2-1.
Karl Matthew Bugayong further put NCRAA ahead in the 41st minute, 3-1, however, Calabarzon converted a penalty kick in the 51st minute and came close at 3-2.
Vergara had another chance to score for NCRAA with a free kick but failed to convert it.
Fidel Victor Tacardon sealed the win for NCRAA in the 68th minute.
WVRAA, on the other hand, grabbed a finals ticket with a 1-0 edging of the Negros Island Regional Athletic Association (NIRAA) at the 68th minute courtesy of Jan Bernard Delariarte.
NCRAA and Western Visayas met for the title back in 2015 in the Palarong Pambansa Tagum with Western Visayas winning the title.
Before the championship match, Calabarzon and NIR will fight for the bronze at 6:30 am. – Rappler.com
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