San Beda has won the 2014 Ang Liga preseason collegiate football league championship but in far from ideal circumstances in the title match against the Arellano Chiefs.
On Saturday in their home field the Red Lions took the lead in the second minute with a header by Fil-Brit striker Connor Tacagni off a delivery by Jerome Marzan.
Or so they tell me. I came late, at around the 15th minute.
In the 31st minute Bedan Miguel Caindec converted off a breakaway to make it 2-0.
Arellano head coach Ravelo Saluria had seen enough, and instructed his team to take leave of the pitch. They never returned, and referee Aldous Mirafuentes II awarded the match, and the championship, to San Beda.
I slogged through traffic from Makati to Mendiola, just to watch about fifteen fucking minutes of football. Ganda.
A livid Saluria claimed there was an obvious offside on the play that was not called. He also said that the non-call was a bit of a straw that broke the camel’s back. He requested a neutral venue for the game and didn’t get one. Match commissioner Ariel Serrantes said that none was available.
Saluria’s rant about the home pitch is just plain weird. There were only a handful of fans from Beda watching the game, and there seemed to be just as many Arellano supporters.
Oh, and Arellano is walking distance from San Beda.
Saluria is an old hand in Pinoy football. The Barotacnon, who is a former referee, has done his bit to help the sport by developing lots of young kids and bringing them to Manila to develop their skills and their careers. But he has done harm by conceding this game.
He deprived 22 players a priceless hour of championship match experience. Plus, he has a very decent side in AU. Cristituto Pino is a known goalscorer, and midfielder Raymart De Los Santos was impressive in the short time I saw him. The Chiefs very easily could have turned the game around with just under an hour to go.
Walkouts also cheapen the game and competitions. They make Philippine football look unprofessional and disorganized. And to do it in a championship match is doubly poor.
If he had a problem with the officiating, he should have played the game out, then protested after.
I wonder what Cherifer, the AU football team’s sponsor, thinks of this. I’m hoping the Chiefs are not allowed to play in the next Ang Liga.
At any rate, congratulations to Beda. They now have won the double of the NCAA title and now this. Are they playing in the Unigames, with a treble in sight?
Kudos for Topcomms for supporting this tournament with their Star FIFA “A” Balls.