Acquisition of Bugas lifts Laguna's mood ahead of tiff with Marikina

Kennedy Uzoka and Nate Alquiros shakes hands ahead of Marikina-Laguna tiff at the latter's stable. JPV Marikina/Leona Yap
By Kevin Estrada

PASIG--Stallion Laguna is playing as the "away" side on their own stable, but that did not deter them to recover from two stinging setbacks against Ceres Negros when they take on JPV Marikina on Wednesday afternoon.

For deputy Richard Leyble and Nathan Alquiros, Wednesday's tiff is a must-win for them, especially when the designated "home" team overtook them on the table after Saturday's draw against leaders Ceres Negros in which they lost both matches after being outscored by five in the process.

"Every training, we almost focused on winning. Kung ano sa training, gagawin dun sa game," said Leyble, who pinch hit for gaffer Ernest Nierras for the pre-match conference.

Despite the thrashing made by the champions, Alquiros was more objective, saying it's not over for them to chase for fourth in which Voltes had the upper hand by a solitary point.

"It's a long season. We lost badly against Ceres and now our mindset is to focus ahead of the next game," said the former La Salle mainstay, whose side got used to be the away team on their own patch since last season, when JPV used it as their home stadium in the early part of the season.

However, the pair agreed in one thing that could lift the moral of the club, when they made a Monday swoop for former Global Cebu midfielder Paolo Bugas which was the biggest talk of the season so far.

"We are very motivated for what coach Ernie [Nierras] did for the newcomers," Leyble added, in which Alquiros added that Bugas had only trained with the team twice, as Laguna are set to be one of the clubs to watch in the second half of the season once the transfer window opens in July.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada