The FC Nabunturan defended its title by hacking out a 3-0 shutout victory against the Holy Cross of Davao College Lady Crusaders (HCDC) in the recently concluded championship match of the 18th Acosta Cup at the Davao City-UP Mindanao Sports Complex.
Desiree Maybuena spearheaded the back-to-back champions with a brace, scoring goals in the eighth and 55th minutes, while Karen Penpeña sealed the win with a goal in the 84th.
Coach Edwin Estanol of FC Nabunturan, said, "Isang oportunidad na maimbitahan kami lalo na't kami ang nag-iisang koponan na mula sa probinsya sa lungsod ng Nabunturan. Tunay na fulfilling at sobrang saya na nakuha namin ang ikalawang kampeonato (It is an opportunity to be invited especially since we are the only team from the province in the city of Nabunturan. It's really fulfilling and we're very happy that we got the second championship)."
He noted that retaining the crown was unexpected due to the competitive lineup of each team. However, he praised his players' teamwork, mutual trust, and adherence to the game plan, which led to their successful title defense.
In the semifinals, FC Nabunturan secured their spot in the finals by defeating CR7Foodtruck, 5-2. Estanol credited the team's good condition, strong attack, and defense for the semifinal victory.
FC Nabunturan, which also won the 17th Acosta Cup title in 2022, was also composed of Jenny Mae Muya, Ivy Allasgo, Dona Aguilar, Lianna Mendoza, Lianna Mendoza, Maxine Nicole Calabio, Irene Niez, Sheena Pacot, Trisha Villan, Wenzel Palmares, Ashley Maluya, Trisha kim Niegas, Tonette Jao, Rajah Garrido, Meni Castillon, Jannel Mae Amita, Anne Zenliah Catalonia, Stacy Caliat, and Liamela Calabio.
He expressed gratitude to the organizers and technical officials of the 18th Acosta Cup for providing a platform for women's football.
Estanol also thanked the local government of Nabunturan, led by Mayor Myrocel Clarin Balili, for the support and transportation during each game.
This year's edition attracted eight participating teams, and the office of Councilor Luna Acosta organized the tournament.