Courtesy of THE FREEMAN Newspaper (www.philstar.com)
Dec 29, 2007 Issue. By Caecent Noot-Magsumbol, Staff Reporter
The Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus Coaching Staff turned negative outlook into positive to clinch the men’s open crown of the 1st Lahug Football Festival at the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) field.
The newly-formed SHS-HJ Coaching Staff frustrated Don Bosco Alumni Football Club, 2-1, via penalty shootout in the final.
The victory of the SHS-HJ Coaching Staff booters was unexpected as they almost withdrew from the tournament after losing their first game against Barili by default. They only had six players who came on time.
“The team’s performance was totally unexpected. We almost withdraw from the tournament. I was disgusted when they forfeited their first game when the team was not able to field the minimum required 7 players to start the game. The others came in very late. Very unprofessional,” said team director Jonathan “Maxi” Maximo.
Maximo lectured the coaches that they are supposed to be role models to their players, yet they too lacked discipline.
After the discussion, everybody committed, not exactly to win the title, but at least to book a semifinal seat.
SHS-HJ was right on target as it landed No.2 in Bracket A with a 3-2 win-loss record.
SHS-HJ won against USPF-B, 2-0, Talisay Football Club, 3-0, and NTD FC-A, 1-0. Its second loss was inflicted by Don Bosco Alumni, 0-1.
In the semifinal round, SHS-HJ upset Bracket B top seed Hiroshi Football Club, 1-0. Former RP team member Richard Cañedo nailed the winning goal for the Jesuits.
Having been beaten by Don Bosco in the elimination, SHS-HJ Coaches worked doubly hard on their defense resulting into a scoreless draw at the end of the regulation period, thus, the penalty shootout.
Don Bosco’s first kicker scored, but Jade Paghubasan of SHS-HJ quickly sank the equalizer. The Bosconians flubbed in their next two attempts and in the ensuing sequence, Cañedo hit a goal to seal SHS-HJ’s resounding triumph. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol