Tobias powers Maroons to UAAP title

May 18, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 122 views

MACKY Tobias converted a second-half penalty as University of the Philippines ended a six-year title drought with a 1-0 victory over Far Eastern University Thursday night in the UAAP men’s football Final before a good-sized crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Fighting Maroons were under attack in the last 25 minutes, surviving a barrage of Tamaraws attempts to force a equalizer to emerge triumphant.

It was UP’s 19th title overall.

“As expected we were up against the championship-caliber FEU team. It was a very good game, but I think we wanted it more. It showed on how we played, we were quite fortunate towards the end, FEU had an attempt but it hit the crossbar,” said first-year coach Popoy Clarino.

“I think it was our resiliency that brought us towards the end. We wanted to give back to the UP community, our families and of course to God we wont be here if we weren’t given this talent to showcase to other people,” he added.

Tobias, a former juniors MVP while playing for FEU-Diliman, made his final UAAP appearance memorable by scoring the lone goal of the Final.

After Francis Tacardon was fouled by Andre Yu from inside the box, Tobias calmly sank the 50th minute spot kick to put the Fighting Maroons ahead.

Goalkeeper Fonzy Gonzalez was a busy man late in the second half to preserve UP’s lead.

Tacardon was named the season MVP and the Best Striker.

“It was a very intense match you know first-half it was a back and fourth game it was very unpredictable di mo alam sino lumalamang. But then come second half after the team talked, after we boys talked to each other, pushed each other lumabas ung UP fighting spirit,” Tacardon said.

“Credits to FEU who gave us a really tough time most of the second half.”

The Fighting Maroons also foiled the Tamaraws’ bid for a second consecutive golden treble after FEU earlier won the high school boys and women’s titles.

UST, the most successful program with 35 championships, complete the podium finishers. The Golden Booters lost to the Fighting Maroons in an epic penalty shootout in the Final Four.

Ateneo’s Kofi Agyei and UP’s Ramil Bation III were the co-Golden Boot awardees, while Tobias took home the Best Midfielder plum.

Frigilliano was the Best Defender while UST’s Miguel Abada was the Best Goalkeeper. Ateneo bagged the Fair Play award. Starters Sherwin Basindanan, Martini Rey and Viejay Frigilliano have played their final game for the Tamaraws along with Jermi Darapan and Eugene Arriola.