Jimuel Ariola and Clifford Tecson connected crucial goals in the second half to lift host-Sagay North Negros, 2-0 over erstwhile champion Ceres-University of St. La Salle to capture the crown in the 2nd Sagay Men’s Open Championship played at Sagay National High School.
After settling for a scoreless first half, tournament’s Most Valuable Player and Best Striker awardee Ariola scored on a rebound play in the 48th minute, beating La Salle’s keeper John Mark Jamelo deep off the right post.
La Salle tried to equalize on Jo Warren Bedia’s attempt inside the box in the 52nd minute but eventual Best Goalkeeper Leoben Wayco tapped the ball over the cross bar.
With momentum on Sagay’s side, the former champions failed to break the host’s defense as time expired.
Sagay’s Lemuel Unabia and Arnel Marcellana also won as Best Defender and Best Midfielder, respectively, for a sweep by the hosts.
Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Marañon III said the event is a great opportunity for them to further promote their sports tourism program.
“I expect a bigger event next year,” he said.