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Aronson plays hero as Volcanoes rally to shock Singapore

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

BOCAUE—With the chance of his team's promotion back to the top of Asian rugby slipping away, Alex Aronson took matters to his own hands.

Aronson scored the last 13 points of the Philippine Volcanoes in their Asian Rugby Championship Division 1 clash with Singapore, including the game-winning penalty to steal a 20-17 double overtime win on Wednesday night at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

In a tightly-contested match from the start, Singapore came close to a date with Sri Lanka in Saturday night's championship game at the same field as the team led the Volcanoes, 17-7, midway into the second half.

Aronson made an interesting move later in the half as he opted to take the penalty with 7:26 left. He made the penalty to cut the lead to seven, 17-10.

The Volcanoes made one more push in the final minute of regulation, leading to Aronson slipping away for the try. He forced the first extra time with the ensuing conversion.

Singapore threatened to take the win in the first extension as the team came to within inches from the end zone, but the Philippine defense held on, extending the golden score period further.

The breakthrough came at the midway point of the second extra time when the Volcanoes got fouled at a dangerous spot.

Aronson calmly took the penalty that went in and got mobbed by his teammates afterward.

The Volcanoes will now face Sri Lanka in the 6 p.m. match on Saturday to determine which team will face Hong Kong for the right to join Japan and South Korea in the Top 3 Division.

The Singaporeans, on the other hand, will battle Kazakhstan in the earlier kickoff at 4 p.m. for the right to remain in Division 1. The losing side faces possible relegation to Division 2 as it will take on the champion of the said division for a Division 1 spot.