SURPRISED AND UNEXPECTED | Gasic, Minegishi speak out after feted UFL's best

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- JP Voltes' netminder Nelson Gasic and and Global winger Hikaru Minegishi were not even favored to be awarded the best by the United Football League, as they spoke to the media Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The two were actually surprised that their hard work paid off when they led their respective clubs to their best performance this season, 

"Unexpected, di ko inaasahan ito. Wala akong masabi eh," the Baguio native commented after getting his second Golden Glove after getting the same feat last season when they are in Division 2 for the same side.

Gasic added that the absence of a back-up goalkeeper all season long made the award much more memorable. "Talagang gusto ko rin makuha ito since the first round. Babad ako sa game, kahit injured ako kelangan ko maglaro para sa team," he added, thanking the club's sponsors and supporters as well in the league in the process.

When asked about the fans' clamor to include him in the Suzuki Cup roster for the Azkals, he said that he will do his best to be included. "Kakayanin po, para sa bansa," he quoted.

He concluded that he can now play at the highest level when he joined the club formerly known as Manila All-Japan back when he was still a Lyceum Pirate that made the transition from college to the professional game look easy for him.

For Minegishi, it was a product of his hard work that got his club the Double and a Golden Ball for the player of the year in the process.

"It was not easy. There are a lot of good players here, especially those who played for the Azkals," said the former Urawa youth product who was the club's leading scorer with 18 goals.

"Every game is so hard. Every player has to work hard, not only me," Minegishi added, noting that the competition from fellow title contenders Ceres and Loyola motivated him more to accomplish their Double, a year after they went trophyless the previous season.

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