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Merida credits PFFWL experience on his victorious UAAP women's debut

Ateneo gaffer Jaypee Merida thinks that the PFF Women's League helped the team a lot, and it paved huge dividents for the Lady Eagles after upsetting the champs on opening day.
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- Ateneo gaffer Jaypee Merida could not contain his glee last Saturday, especially winning in his UAAP women's football debut came at the expense of defending champions UP to start the women's tournament of season 79.

"Siyempre, I'm real happy talaga na nakuha ko yung first win. Pagdating ng from one week na preparation namin, talagang kinakabahan na ako pero di ko pinapakita sa mga players ko kasi merong mga incidents na nangyari sa team ko, so I need na maipakita na excited ako para sa tournament na ito," Merida said.

For him, a lot of things had to be made for the Lady Eagles when he took over from Bob Manlulo late last year for them to be ready for the UAAP football wars, but one thing that stands out as the reason for this is the PFF Women's League, in which he thinks was the biggest help to them to improve and gel as a cohesive unit.

"Yun yung nagpataas ng level na ito, kasi dun eh mataas ang level niya. High intensity yung game(s), yung mga kalaban ay may quality na di basta-basta panghinayang. So far for us, talagang maganda preparation yun [PFF W-League], mas lalo na siguro for next year kung mai-start siya ng mas maaga," Merida added, noting that they went to the UAAP with back-to-back wins in the Women's League, and their win against the Lady Maroons pushed their streak to three wins in all competitions.

Match-winner Nona Amoncio bared that their defence stood out despite she nabbed the only goal of the match, in which it held firm until the final moments of the match. And she further recognized the importance of the Women's League to them, sharing her thought with her mentor.

"It's a big league. We went against these girls also. Other than the practice games, the Women's League really help us on preparing for the UAAP," she concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada
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