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Vidakovic explains decision behind defibrillator seeking

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By Ivan Saldajeno

PUERTO PRINCESA—Pregame drama already ensued during the pre-match press conference of JPV Marikina and Ceres Negros on Tuesday when Risto Vidakovic, Negros' gaffer, rued about pushing through with the match despite his key players being unavailable due to the Azkals call-up.

But more pregame drama took place just moments from kickoff when Vidakovic asked for a portable defibrillator for his squad, which entered the Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan on Wednesday with only 13 players.

The assigned medical staff for the said match struggled to find a defibrillator, leading to the match getting pushed 45 minutes later from its supposed 3 p.m. kickoff.

"It's in the FIFA rules that you must have a defibrillator in your match," Vidakovic explained. "If you don't have it, you cannot play."

The game eventually pushed through, but in the 78th minute, or at about 5:30 p.m. in real time, Vidakovic, who talked with the table officials, seemingly asked for a truce as the night sky fast approached.

Both Marikina and Negros agreed to cut the match short. The final score: 2-2 after a little less than 80 minutes of play.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno