by Shelly Bocabel, Francesca Zia Robles, and Veronica Balbin
WITH THE LAUNCHING of the 19th Season of Ang Liga last August 5, the San Beda Red Booters faced off against different universities at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman’s football pitch for Division 1.
The Mendiola-based football team had made progress with a single loss in their match against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers and a match tie with the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB).
SBU vs. UB
In their first game on the field last August 21, the Red Booters emerged victorious against the University of Batangas (UB).
The Booters dominated by scoring two goals by halftime, leaving their opponents scoreless, 2-0. However, UB tied up the score against San Beda University (SBU) at the second half.
Even after a furious comeback attempt from UB, the Red Booters remained steadfast, scoring a mere point to emerge victorious, 3-2.
The game’s “Man of the Match” was the Red Booters’ Dominic Furia, who scored two points that earned his team an overtime win.
SBU vs. DLSU
In their game against the Green Archers last August 28, the Red Booters failed to secure a second win.
It was a goalless first half between the two squads, who both furiously passed the ball amongst each other to score.
Both teams had taken shots for a goal while carefully defending their sides of their nets. Later in the second half, in the middle of the 69th minute, the Green Archers had finally changed the game at the Red Booters’ expense after finally scoring and winning by 1-0.
SBU vs. CSB
Against Benilde, the Red Booters scored a single goal halfway in the first match of the game last September 10.
A tenacious defense was put up by the Red Booters as the opposing team struggled to score anything until the end of the match.
Paul Joshua Mapula struck first blood for the Red Booters. However, CSB later caught up by one point that left both teams at a stalemate by the end of the match with a score of 1-1.
SBU vs. AdU
The Red Booters also faced a tough challenge facing Adamson University (AdU), which was at the top of the standings during that time. The first half saw no clear winner as both teams engaged in a back-and-forth battle to secure a point.
The Mendiola-based squad, despite taking on an offensive stance throughout the game, had their efforts remain futile. As such, the team retained their defense, taking shuffles and crosses at the Falcons with Furia, Kirk Eman See, Vince Eric Baito, and Amir Aningalan all attempting to score a goal.
At the second half, by the 49-minute mark, the Red Booters at long last found the back of the net, leading the Falcons by one goal.
As the game entered its closing stages, the Falcons spared no effort in their quest to level the score, but their endeavors proved fruitless, occasionally leaving gaps that nearly allowed the Red Booters to tally another goal. At the end of regulation, it was the Red Booters who emerged triumphant, securing their second victory of the tournament and maintaining a 2-1-1 record.
SBU vs. EAC
The Red Booters in this game had garnered their 3rd victory at the expense of the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals, 1-0, on October 1.
Like in their previous game with AdU, the first half of the game had been a goalless match with no sign of any winner.
It was only in the 80th minute that a victory was made from the Red Booters of SBU, scored and carried by Alexis Jeremy Lampines.
Even after ten minutes, the Generals could not score a goal for themselves, leaving the Booters victorious after a long hour and a half of shuffling.
Quarterfinals: SBU vs ADMU
An intense and nail-biting clash was brought by the Red Booters as they faced Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) in the Ang Liga 2023 Quarter Finals at the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) Football Pitch on October 22, culminating in a thrilling 4-3 victory for Ateneo.
With both teams entering the match aiming to secure a coveted spot in the final four of the competition, it was a high stakes match-up that was one for the books.
The match was fierce from the get-go as Red Booter Yuan Reña’s powerful header landed the game’s first goal that was swiftly leveled by Ateneo before halftime.
The match only intensified as it progressed, with Ateneo surging ahead with a 4-1 lead, leaving the Red Booters in a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
However, with just six minutes left on the clock, the Red Booters dug deep, skillfully scoring two quick goals, closing the gap to 4-3.
Despite the relentless efforts of the Red Booters, time was not on their side, and the final whistle blew with the scoreline, 4-3 in favor of Ateneo.
While the Ang Liga quarterfinal match didn’t end in their favor, the Red Booters can hold their heads high with their never-say-die attitude, knowing that they have left everything on the field.
(with Rizian Veniz Balleta)