THE Cebu Elite Girls 14 team and the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) booked their spots in the regional elimination after topping the Cebu leg of the Allianz National futsal tournament at the Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) last Saturday, May 11.
The Cebu Elite Girls topped the five-team Girls 14 division after winning all their matches, while the Guardians Strikers finished second. Both will be going to the regional meet.
“We decided to field the Cebu Elite team so we could continue their program for the whole year,” said coach Sheba Castañares, whose team will take on other local leg winners in the regional meet in Bacolod City.
The Cebu Elite defeated Sheba FC, 4-0, Guardians, 4-1, Tayud FC, 6-0 and Naga City, 10-0. The Sheba FC team, also coached by Castañares, also had players from the Cebu Elite Girls 13 team.
Castañares said they have been training for two weeks for the tournament, usually at night, since some of the girls still have classes.
For local eliminations, the team had Celina Salazar, Mish Castañares, Lyka Cueva, Jelena Loren Soon, Gwen Estrada, Irish Pongasi, Jodi Banzon, Roygen Tingcang and Jospher Halili. Soon, Castañares, Salazar and Tingcang are the only holdovers from last year’s national champion in the same tournament.
For the regional meet, Castañares said the coaching staff is looking at adding three more players. He is handling the team together with manager John Soon and assistant Melan Bordalba.
“We still lack three players. We have to add more because futsal is a fast game and the players easily get tired,” he said.
After the futsal tournament, it’s back to the field for the squad as they will be joining the Ceres Cup next weekend in Bacolod before returing to the same city for the regional meet.
“We will have field training next week for the Ceres Cup. After that, it’s going to be all futsal until the regional meet,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Girls 16 division, USPF won all its games without conceding a single goal to run away with the title.
USPF defeated Tayud FC, 2-0, Balamban, 2-0, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 3-0, and Brodies FC, 2-0, to top Group A. In the semis, it booted out Group B No. 2 Alcoy, 2-0, before beating Labogon FC, 1-0, in the final.
Both USPF and Labogon will also advance to the regional meet.
In the boys division, host DBTC A won the 16-Under title after beating Guardians, 3-1, in the finals.
DBTC A finished second in Group A with four points, making the semis only on goal difference while Guardians posted a perfect 3-0 record.
In the semifinals, Guardians defeated DBTC C, 3-1, while DBTC A outlasted DBTC B, 5-4. (ML)