UNIVERSITY of the Philippines capped off an emotional campaign with a 4-1 victory over Ateneo on Thursday to capture the UAAP Season 78 men’s football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Kintaro Miyagi completed a hat-trick in a starring role for the Fighting Maroons, who offered the season to the late member of the team Rogie Maglinas.
Maglinas passed away last February due to rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer of the skeletal muscles called. His death became the rallying point of the Maroons on their way to a sweep of the tournament.
The victory also completed a golden football double for UP, which earlier beat La Salle, 2-1, in the women’s football final.
“I’m happy that compared to last year’s performance, the way we played this season is several notches above in terms of fight and effort. Icing on the cake na lang ‘yung finals,” said UP coach Anto Gonzales, who also guided the women’s team to the crown.
Miyagi opened the scoring with a goal off a rebound following a miss by Daniel Gadia in the 28th minute. Gadia, who later won the MVP award, joined the scoring in the 34th for a 2-0 lead.
Ateneo responded two minutes later when Mikko Mabanag, playing his final game with the Blue Eagles, scored on a free kick, the ball going through the legs of UP goalkeeper Ace Villanueva in the 36th.
But it proved to be Ateneo’s last stand.
Miyagi scored in the 69th, tapping home a failed clearance by Ateneo before scoring another goal in the 80th off a well-executed pass by Sohiel Bidar.
Meanwhile, Raphael De Guzman of La Salle won the Best Goalkeeper award, while Chy Villasenor of Far Eastern University won the Best Defender honor.
Paolo Bugas of FEU and Paolo Salenga of National University shared the Best Midfielder citation while Jarvey Gayoso of Ateneo was named the Best Striker. Darius Diamante of La Salle was the Rookie of the Year.
Ateneo received the Fair Play award.