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Melliza surprised Deyto made crucial blunder leading to Cebu's loss at Laguna

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By Ivan Saldajeno

BIÑAN--The pre-game discussion of the Stallion Laguna-Global Cebu game focused on Rufo Sanchez's first game against the club that he led to the 2013 UFL double.

But come post-game, the focus may have quickly shifted to Patrick Deyto's costly error that led to Jhan-Jhan Melliza's eventual dagger goal for Laguna's 2-1 win at home over Cebu at the Biñan Football Stadium.

Deyto went out of the box to receive a clearance from Cebu's attack zone, but he failed to secure the ball on his first touch and Melliza stole it and blasted it to the now wide open goalmouth to give Laguna a 2-0 cushion.

"Nagulat na lang ako. Sabi ko sa isip ko, 'Bakit niya ginawa yun?'" said Melliza about the crucial play on Friday night.

Curiously, Deyto's blunder came right after Laguna almost committed a huge mistake of its own as a player's clearance hit the back of his teammate only that the ball went over the post to the sigh of relief of Coach Ernie Nierras.

Melliza also believes that Deyto's error was very uncharacteristic of him.

"Pag ganun ang sitwasyon, iki-clear out niya yung bola," Melliza shared what Deyto would usually do when they were teammates at former UFL and now current WFL side GAU. "Hindi ko in-expect na yun ang gagawin niya."

Cebu coach Akbar Nawas, on the other hand, hopes that the said sequence will help Deyto a lot as he continues to wear the number 1 jersey for the de facto defending champs.

"For me, he has to learn from this," said Nawas, whose side still mounted a comeback bid at stoppage time only to fall short.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno