AT least De la Salle has something to cheer about on this gloomy Saturday night.
Green Archers United, a considered alumni squad of De la Salle, alleviated the sorrow of the school's heartbreaking defeat in the UAAP women’s volleyball finals as it nipped Pasargad, 3-1, on Saturday night in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium.
The shorthanded Archers leaned on the heroics of Dodong Villareal, who scored a brace in the last five minutes that broke the deadlock en route to their third win in 12 games that moved them two places up to fifth spot with 13 points, ahead of Army on goal difference.
The win came hours after the three-time defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers were dethroned by long-time rival Ateneo Lady Eagles in straight sets during their winner-take-all match for the title at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"I don't know if it will compensate (for the volleyball defeat), but I hope it does," Archers goalkeeper Patrick Deyto told Spin.ph after the game.
The Archers kept Pasargad at the bottom and in relegation zone with four points in 10 games.
Thrust to the right wing to provide scoring punch with strikers Robert Mendy and Gab Olowoyeye suspended for yellow card accumulation, and injured Chieffy Caligdong still two weeks away from returning, Villareal continued to flourish as he scored for the second straight game.
The natural right back scored the go-ahead goal in the 85th minute, when he drove hard, before escaping his defender to finish with his right foot.
Just three minutes later, Villareal added an insurance goal with practically the same play that once again exposed the poor Pasargad defense.
“Actually mas gusto ko talaga siya na (mag-stay sa taas) pero mas kailangan namin siya sa baba kasi kulang kami ng defender,” Archers coach Rodolfo Alicante said of Villareal.
Gelo Diamante opened the scoring for the Archers 14 minutes into the game, before Pasargad transfer window acquisition Jerome Cuyos equalized five minutes before first-half stoppage time.