Drawing comparisons to Sato, Darwin Regala continues to gallop for Laguna

With the stellar play at the back, Darwin Regala have been compared to an Azkals standout by no less than his gaffer. Art Enriquez/Stallion Laguna
By Kevin Estrada

BI√ĎAN -- For the past week, Stallion Laguna have swept their assignments in their own stable, both as a host and a visitor when they brushed aside JPV Marikina and Global Cebu in that order to keep in pace with Davao Aguilas for a fight for third place.

In those two wins, right back Darwin Regala played the best football in that stretch, getting man of the match honors last week then followed it up by opening his account last week in a 2-1 triumph over the league's doormats.

But the former NU standout only said luck played a huge part on scoring his first goal for Laguna, adding to the motivation Ernest Nierras gave to him before every match.
"Sobrang saya kasi di ko nakaexpect na makagoal ako. Ginawa ko lang yung sabi ni coach  Nierras] na kapag bumaba si Abou, atakehin namin kaagad yung sa gilid. Kaya nakagoal."
Nierras was itching for Regala to be recognized as one of the key players for the side that won the old UFL double five years ago, adding that it bodes well to their philosophy of developing local players.

"We kinda wanted him to be recognized," he said during Sunday's post-match presser. "I said last week, this kid is underappreciated, and now his finding himself and it shows."

The flamboyant gaffer even bared that Regala's play draw similarities to Daisuke Sato who plays the same wing-back position, albeit on the right side for Romania's Sepsi.

"He plays like [Daisuke] Sato," Nierras said,  "The way he runs, the way he attacks, the way he defends. I keep telling him that should be his idol, and we should be try his best to emulate him." 

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