Philippine football

FEU reinforces UAAP boys’ football dynasty, topples UST for 12th straight crown

JR Isaga

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FEU reinforces UAAP boys’ football dynasty, topples UST for 12th straight crown

DYNASTY. The FEU Baby Tamaraws celebrate after winning the UAAP Season 86 boys' football championship

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

FEU-Diliman keeps a tight chokehold on UAAP boys' football supremacy, rolling over final match debutant UST for its 12th straight championship

MANILA, Philippines – No matter the struggles, champions in sports always know when to turn up the fire when it matters most.

Such was the case for the FEU-Diliman Baby Tamaraws as they ruled the UAAP Season 86 high school boys’ football tournament for the 12th straight time, toppling first-time finalist UST Junior Golden Booters with a 3-0 romp on Thursday, February 29.

Even after UST led the standings for much of the season, FEU snuck right back on top after a stellar elimination round wrap-up, followed by a masterpiece finale that saw the Baby Tamaraws hold a 1-0 lead just 18 minutes in.

Eventual Golden Boot winner Theo Libarnes, who pushed FEU further away with his seventh season goal 8 minutes after intermission, echoed the struggles his team went through and was just glad that when the lights were brightest, they shone brightly right back.

“I was shocked to get the Golden Boot award because I didn’t score in the first round,” he said in Filipino. “I did bounce back in the second round, but still, our struggles to get to the final were evident.”

“But now, we’re in the FEU history books. I gave it all I got for my teammates,” added the graduating forward.

Fellow senior Gian Carlo Lucha, the Baby Tamaraws’ ace defender, likewise bowed out of high school competition in style by winning tournament MVP.

UST’s Edsel James Lauron and Kent Laurenz dela Peña nabbed Best Goalkeeper and the Best Midfielder honors, respectively. Bacchus Ekberg, a vital piece in La Salle-Zobel’s third-place finish, bagged the Best Defender award. Ateneo, meanwhile, secured the Fair Play Award.

“It feels unreal because I never thought this award would be mine,” Lucha said in Filipino. “We struggled a lot, lost twice in the eliminations, but I just said to my teammates to steel their hearts and trust God.”

“Thankfully, our sacrifices paid off.” –

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