MANILA – Arellano University captured its first ever National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Seniors Football crown by dethroning no less than defending champion San Beda College, 2-0, last January 19 (Tuesday) at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Charles Gamutan and Jumbeng Guinabang delivered the winning goals in the winner-take-all showdown.
Gamutan opened the scoring in the 35th minute as he outwitted San Beda goalkeeper Michael Yuvienco. Guinabang than hammered in the insurance goal in almost similar fashion in the 80th minute.
Game hero Guinabang was eventually named as the season’s Most Valuable Player on top of the Best Midfield award. His teammate Patrick John Bernarte got the nod as Best Defender.
San Beda was awarded with the Fair Play award. Ralph Stephen Abriol emerged as the Golden Boot winner with a season-best 11 goals and despite his two miscues in the finals, Yuvienco still managed to cop the Golden Glove.
Winning coach Ravelo Saluria thanked the school management for their support. “This year, our football pitch in Lagro, Novaliches was finally completed so we were able to practice well,” said Coach Saluria, who has handled the team since they entered the NCAA in 2009.
In the Juniors finale, La Salle Green Hills frustrated San Beda College-Rizal, 5-3. It was a tough loss for the defending champions who squandered a 3-1 advantage at the halftime break.
Theodore Uriah Travis submitted a hat trick in the second to give LSGH the upper hand, 4-3. Travis struck in the 59th, 70th and 81st minutes after which Clarence Limsico added another goal for good measure at the 85th minute.
LSGH actually took the initial lead on a seventh minute goal by Kobe Joseph del Rosario. San Beda quickly counted with three straight from Beejay Gonzales (eighth), Mariano Suba (35th) and another from Gonzales (44th) to seize control just before the halftime whistle.
The 91st NCAA Football tournament was hosted by San Sebastian College.