JUSTIFYING his recent call-up to the national team, Ruben “Balot” Doctora Jr. made his presence felt on Tuesday night when Stallion FC breezed past Green Archers United, 4-1, in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
The 27-year-old striker from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, who will make his Azkals return in two international friendlies next month, registered a goal and an assist to lead the Stallions, who kept their title-retention bid alive.
The defending champions solidified their hold of fourth spot with their 14th point, while dealing the Archers—still without skipper Chieffy Caligdong—their fifth loss in 10 games that kept them in seventh spot.
It was actually a come-from-behind win for the Stallions, who saw their defense get infiltrated by Robert Mendy just four minutes with a strike off a rebound from a Park Jun Soo miss.
Simone Rota, another Azkals prospect who was invited to train but missed the cut as the Filipino-Spaniard’s Philippine passport has yet to be cleared, equalized for Stallion in the 21st minute.
Two minutes later, Doctora, who last donned the national colors two years ago, turned the game around with a right-footed finish that goalkeeper Patrick Deyto failed to collect.
After Archers right-back Ronnie Aguisanda gifted the Stallions with an own goal 11 minutes after the restart, Doctora dished off to Nathan Alquiros, who struck five minutes before second-half injury time.
“Kailangan talaga magpakita eh,” the shy Doctora said. “Para mapakita ko sa lahat ng tao na karapat-dapat akong maging isang national team member.”
“Balot deserves (the call-up),” Stallions coach Ernie Nierras said. “That guy is just all heart.”