MANILA, Philippines – Season 80 MVP Ian Clarino could not have ended his UAAP career on a higher note.
Aside from clinching his 3rd championship with the University of the Philippines (UP), Ian played his last title match with his brother and teammate Miggy. But on the opposing team, there was also his other sibling Gino, a graduating player of the University of Santo Tomas.
“Nag-thank you ako sa kuya (Gino): ‘Sobrang thankful ako, kuya, na ikaw pa yung last na nakasama ko dito sa season nating dalawa,’” said Ian.
(I thanked my kuya Gino: ‘Kuya, I’m so thankful that I was able to play with you in our last season.’)
The UP captain added that the title match turned out to be one for the books for the football-playing family.
“Nandirito family ko rin so parang another chapter ng bonding namin.”
(My family was here so it’s like another chapter of our bonding.)
Ian was the man of the match as his lone goal in the 21st minute of the final sealed the championship.
The Maroon skipper took the chance on JB Borlongan’s free kick in the 21st minute as he caught the UST defense unexpected by going towards the near-post to tap the ball in.
“Feeling ko inexpect nila na second post lagi ako dumadaan. And I know JB, lagi siya nagprapractice sa spot na yan sa free kicks sa training and alam ko near-post siya, so tinry ko mag-move doon in case machambahan ko siya,” explained Ian.
(I think they expected me to stay in the second post because that’s where I always pass. I know that JB practices at the spot for free kicks during training and I know that he sends it towards the near-post, so I tried to move there in case I got lucky.)
As the match heated up with more aggressive plays, Ian helped the team hold down UST to win possession for UP. His heroics underscored again a much deserved Season 80 Best Defender award he later won.
But more than anything, perhaps, it was his family around him that made all the accolades sweeter. – Rappler.com
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