DON BOSCO Technological Center’s move to split their top players paid dividends as it won the Mixed 9-Under division of the 14th Thirsty Cup in an all-Bosconian final.

“I told the coaches to check what usually makes the knockout stage and to plan the lineup accordingly. So we had three really strong teams and one not so strong team,” said football coach Ray Calo.

With the teams anchored on its top players Signechrist Annxylle Sumalpong, Vaugh Gabriel Zapanta, Aldous Gabriel Tabar and Paul Mapula, Don Bosco A and Don Bosco D advanced to the semis, with their Team D eliminating DBTC B in the quarterfinals thanks to Sumalpong’s heroics in the shootout.

In the first semifinal, Don Bosco B eliminated rival Giuseppe, 2-0, while Don Bosco D again had to go to a shootout to beat CNN Dolphins, 1-0.

In the finals, it was Team B who took the initiative with Tabar drilling in an early goal past Sumalpong for their 2-1 win. Tabar, who helped DBTC B to a perfect 3-0 record in the elimination round, was named the MVP in the division.

Prior to the finals, the gutsy Sumalpong didn’t concede a single goal in six games.

“I’m also happy because the final is between two different grade levels--two and three,” Calo said.

On the other hand, Giuseppe is already a winner in the tournament after topping the Girls 15 division on the first day. Giuseppe beat Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 2-0, Bright Academy, 4-0, and St. Theresa’s College, 2-0, while it drew Sta. Barbara, 1-1, to finish with 10 points, four points clear of the second placer Sta. Barbara. Kaiza Colina of Giuseppe earned the MVP.

In the 7-Under division, perennial champion Giuseppe FC saw its title run in the division snapped by the visiting CNN Dolphins, which had Denden Diaba as the MVP.

In the 38-above division, the Boys High Alumni pulled a surprise as it won the title over Queen City United late Friday night with Raymund Cordova earning the MVP. Boys High, which only had one win in the group stage, booted out Don Bosco Alumni in the semifinals.

In the mixed-open division, a new category for this year’s tournament, Erco Bro won the league-type contest with 13 points, while Maan Sollano was named the MVP. Erco Bro had four wins and one draw to finish with 13 points, while Don BOsco Alumni finished second on goal difference over Real Galaxy.

The 14th Thirsty Cup, which has over 250 teams, continues with its final day today with games in the Boys 15-Under, Girls 17-Under, Boys and GIrls 19-Under and the Men’s Open divisions.