DAVAO CITY -- On a day of big reversals, Rabies FC scored big against its favored rivals to snatch the Kia Rio Cup 5:30 2D Davao Interclub Futsal Tournament at The Annex of SM City Davao.
Led by eventual MVP John Leynes and best 'keeper Lanzi Borromeo, the fourth-ranked Rabies pulled the rug from under heavy favorite and top qualifier Alia Orange FC in the first semifinals, 3-1, to advance to the finals against another bottom-end qualifier Davao Crocodile FC which upset No. 2 SVDB FC, 4-2.
In the finals, Rabies put up a stonewall defense in the endgame to protect a 3-1 lead and that was all they needed as they frustrated the Crocodiles’ last-ditch effort to level the scoreline.
The black-shirted Rabies actually got to the semifinals by the skin of their teeth, narrowly beating by goal difference Team Bloopers after both teams finished tied after the three-round eliminations.
Jun Mapulan, the Crocodiles’ surprise package usually coming off the bench midway into the match and producing instant goals when needed, won the best scorer award.
Alia Orange beat SVDB in the battle for third via sudden death shootout to take the third place trophy in this event sponsored by Kia Motors Davao and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and SM City Davao. The four-day tournament, the first ever held inside the sprawling SM City Davao activity center, is sanctioned by the Davao Football Association and organized by Bravetower.
In the Boys Under-16 division, PTA Boys Juniors avenged the loss of their first team to giant-killer St. Paul College Pasig-Davao Campus to win the title, 5-1. The overachieving St. Paul side upset the top-seeded PTA Boys RVA, 4-2, in the semifinals to advance to their first ever finals.
The PTA Juniors turned back the challenge of the visiting Maco FC to take the cudgels from their eliminated PTA RVA counterparts which finished the tournament in third place.
Jeffril Cabaral of PTA Boys Juniors won the MVP award with Gregorio Zamora, Jr. (PTA RVA) as best scorer and Jasper Anutan (PTA Juniors) as best scorer.
Kia Motors Davao manager Paco Mendoza handed over the trophies to the winners along with Phoenix Petroleum Philippines corporate affairs manager Ben Sur. Earlier in the morning, special guest Joaqui Preysler, the former secretary general of the Philippine Football Federation and the first ever Futsal Committee chairman of the PFF, graced the opening program. He was joined by SM City Mall Manager Lynette Lopez, Mendoza and Sur.