NOT even the unexpected absence of a handful of key players could stop Pachanga-PLDT Home Fibr from finally putting an end to its disappointments in the United Football League.
Without five players who came in late for the inspection after getting caught in a traffic jam, the former Division 2 champion got back on the winning track in style, cruising past Socceroo, 6-0, on Saturday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Alu Kigbu fired a brace and led five players in the scoresheet for Pachanga, which registered its first victory in eight games.
"We just responded to the challenge," said Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida, who missed the services of starting goalkeeper Steve Yambou, UAAP top scorer Jinggoy Valmayor, NCAA MVP Raffy Cabug, Daniel Gadia, and Anto Gonzales, among others.
The result also enabled Pachanga to move up a spot to sixth, ahead of Philippine Army on goal difference.
Pachanga also kept Socceroo in eighth spot.
Before the game, it seemed the difficulties would continue for Pachanga after finding out the five aforementioned players would not make it on time for the match after getting stuck along C5.
“Grabe traffic sa Libis hanggang Market! Market!,” Gonzales said.
But Pachanga, which entered the match with five draws and two losses in its last games, simply refused to let the mishap affect the squad as Shayan Jafari unlocked the Socceroo defense 23 minutes in, before Kigbu doubled the lead just two minutes later.
After Hong Bo Sim sneaked in a third goal three minutes approaching stoppage time, Pachanga shifted to a higher gear in the second half where Nate Burkey and Jayson Cutamora found the back of the net, as well as Kigbu completing his two-goal effort.
“Kung nahihirapan kami umiskor the past few games, at least ngayon, napakita rin ng mga boys na talagang nakaka-score kami,” Marcaida said.