Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Monday, November 10, 2003 issue
by Patrick C. Costelo, Correspondent
SAVVY playing coach Glen Ramos showed his wards and his foes the heart of a champion when he took UC-Hapee to its third championship in four years with a last-minute slammer yesterday against Crazy Horse in the electrifying finals of the 7th Aboitiz Cup football Men’s division at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Meanwhile, another nail-biting match-up saw University of San Carlos nab third place from newcomer Philippine Air Force (PAF), 4-3, via penalty shootout.
Hapee, which came off a four-game win streak since the eliminations, had a tough time against the agile defense of its foreigner-laden rivals.
After a scoreless first half, the game soon turned intensely physical, which led to some verbal tiffs at the end of the match.
Both sides failed to convert on a few attempts but the seasoned UC-Hapee slowly took control of the final 45 minutes.
UC-Hapee which almost limited Crazy Horse to defense but after a few close shots, still remained scoreless as Crazy Horse had their center forwards marked.
With an extension looming, UC had its last- chance to execute its game plan, taking the last line of defenders mid-court.
Center-forward Redrick Viliran, one of Hapee’s four imports from Dumaguete, who earlier led the team in the semis over PAF, had the ball mid-court off a quick pass. Two defenders closed in on Viliran but Ramos, who manned the midfield was already ahead to receive the pass, and with one touch evaded the last defender and pulled the trigger for the win.
“We were finally able to complete our plan late in the game. We knew we had the chance when we gained more possessions in the second half,” said the 36-year-old Ramos, who was once the youngest starter in the RP Team at 17 back in 1984.
“I’d like to thank Hapee for its continuous support, UC, and our players from Dumaguete, Redrick, Marcos, Oliver and Greg.”