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Ateneo splits Ang Liga openers

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Ateneo's Xavi Alcuaz saved the blushes of its reserves by notching the lone goal of their Div1 tussle with UST. (Ang Liga)
By Dugout Philippines

BIÑAN -- Ateneo split its opening assignments in its respective divisions as the 15th Season of Ang Liga kicked off at the De La Salle–Canlubang pitch on Saturday.

In the first match of Division 2, Don Bosco Technical College took over in the second half to come up victorious against Ateneo-B, 3-2.

A brace by Jose Antonio Morada powered the Grey Wolves for their first win of the season.

Chio Uy put the Blue Eagles in front in the 35th minute which was canceled out by Juan Marco Matriano in the 40th minute.

The Greywolves then took over in the second half with Morada scoring barely a minute from the restart to give them the lead for the first time.

But Ryan Herrera duly equalized for Ateneo in the 52nd minute, setting a thrilling finish.

However, Morada had the last laugh in the curtain-raiser with his winner in the 81st minute giving the Greywolves all three points against the more favored Ateneo side.

“Actually for the very beginning, we’re not only looking for any goal or so because we have a very young team that is only two months old. I just told them to go with the options, never give up and just enjoy the game,” DBTC coach TJ Arenal said after the game.

In the opener of Division 1, reigning UAAP titlist Ateneo-A got even at defending Ang Liga champion UST in a hot and humid encounter early in the afternoon in a rematch of last season’s final with a 1-0 win.

A 34th minute header by Xavier Alcuaz was enough for the Blue Eagles to get even at the expense of the Growling Tigers in a tightly-fought and extremely physical tussle that boiled over in the closing minutes.

UST tried to salvage a point in the 90th minute but Gino Clariño’s penalty was stopped by Enrique Ortiz who just came on for Kenn James.

It all reached boiling point when Zaldy Abraham fouled Rupert Baña hard that emptied both benches in an apparent free for all.

When the dust settled, Abraham and Ateneo’s Iñigo Herrera were issued a straight red card for their part in the fracas. UST assistant coach Arman Esteban was also given marching orders earlier after hurling foul language at the officials.

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