Ateneo Davao wins Alaska Cup

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ATENEO de Davao University's boys under-14 team made up for the heartbreaking loss of six-time champion girls U12 squad in the just-concluded 18th Alaska Football Cup held at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

Joshua Royce Lim's winning goal in the final minutes lifted Ateneo past Sacred Heart of Cebu, 1-0, in their boys U14 finals showdown.

The Alex Adolfo-coached squad, thus, improved its runner-up finish in 2012 where they bowed to Far Eastern University in the finals. The FEU booters, however, didn't join this year's Alaska Cup due to the ongoing UAAP season.

"Unexpected talaga ang goal ni Lim. Inaasahan ko nalang na mag draw nalang kami kasi nga tatlo sa key players ko were playing with injury na. Patayo-tayo nalang sila sa game, ang apat nalang ang kumakayod talaga. Naisip ko pag mag draw then sa shootout nalang kami babawi," Adolfo said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Monday.

He was thankful that they pulled off the win, saying in the vernacular, "It was all heart of the players. I'm happy that we secured the win without going into a shootout."

The team was also powered by Elijah Jacob Liao, Gabriel Leyson, Justin Luis Uy, Jose Antonio Lopez, Kyron Dimaandal, Joshua Raphael Lagon, John Rey Lagura and Luke Amoguis with Albert Ryan Lim, Ruel Sasuman and Sandro Balderas assisting Adolfo in the coaching department.

Meanwhile, the Ateneo girls U12 settled for third after beating Miriam College via penalty shootout. The Philippine Academy of Sakya of Davao went on to capture the title.

Ateneo girls U12 coach Reynalyn Ranada Ravanes said in text messages, "Naabutan kami ng malas. Top 1 kami sa bracket pero natalo kami sa crossover semis with Sakya dahil sa isang error at hindi na kami nakarekober pa. Marami kaming attack pero wala lang talagang napasok na mga attempts."

Ravanes, who was earlier rooting for a seven-peat, said it took a while for her players to accept their fate, adding, "At first nahirapan silang tanggapin pero sinabi ko na kung ano ang pinapakita nila sa training ganun din ang result ng laro nila."

She also told her girls that if they give 100 percent with their heart to train and to play to win the game, respect and teamwork with their teammates and coaches, they will be rewarded for their hardwork at the end.

"We hope that they will give their best when we resume training for the Rifa Cup if they want to defend our title," Ravanes said.

The Rifa Cup is set in January.

Ateneo Davao also placed third in girls U14, fourth in boys U16 and fourth in women's open.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 10, 2013.


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