Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Monday, December 22, 2003 issue
by Patrick Costelo
CEBU Football Association (CFA)-Hapee had an easy walk in the park to the National Finals after thumping Negros Oriental, 5-0, but the fate of top striker Ronald Loayon remains unsure.
The 23-year-old Loayon, Cebu’s top scorer with four goals so far, revealed yesterday he might not be able to return to Cebu and play for the National Championships in March if he is advised to report for training at the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Loayon of the University of San Jose-Recoletos earlier passed PAF’s entrance exam and was not recruited by PAF’s men’s football team, as earlier reported. He will leave for Manila for a medical exam. Playing coach Glen Ramos, however, is not worried of Loayon’s departure as the team is equipped with equally talented strikers, he said yesterday.
CFA-Hapee barged into the regional finals with a superior elimination-round record of two wins and a draw in the four-team tournament. The finalists qualify to the National Finals next year.
In another development, the CFA is set to bid for the hosting of the National Finals in March, disclosed CFA president Jonathan Maximo yesterday.
CFA-Hapee’s game-long domination blew off with a Warlo Sabella goal in the 23rd minute followed by Loayon’s slammer in the 33rd. Roland Verdida closed the first half with authority as he squeaked one in at the 44th to give Cebu a 3-0 edge at halftime.
Just four minutes into the second half, Loayon scored his fourth elimination-round goal in the 49th as Negros Oriental remained scoreless.
Ramos gave CFA-Hapee an upbeat endgame as he scored in the 89th.
Cebu, will take on defending national champion Negros Occidental, the team it drew in the elimination, in today’s finals at 1:30 p.m. and will take the 6 p.m. ship back to Cebu.
Host Iloilo, which finished No.3, will play bottom team and winless Negros Oriental for third place in the opening match at 9 a.m.
Cebu and Negros Occidental will meet North/South Luzon winner PAF, which represents the National Capital Region Football Association (NCRFA), and runner-up Laguna Football Association (LFA), along with the champions from Southeast Luzon; West, North and Central Mindanao. PCC