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For Paolo Bugas, Laguna is his first choice after leaving Cebu

Paolo Bugas likes the challenge of being with a club like Stallion Laguna. Art Enriquez/SLFC
By Kevin Estrada

MAKATI -- After he announced his departure from Global Cebu last May, Paolo Bugas has been one of the most sought-after free agents and most of the pundits expected Ceres Negros and Davao Aguilas to tussle for his coveted signature.

However, Stallion Laguna ensured the league kept its balance by swooping in to nab the coveted midfielder in broad daylight at the first week of June, effectively turning them as one of the contenders for the coveted AFC Cup spot when the league is nearing it's homestretch.

Bugas' arrival initially lifted the mood for Ernest Nierras and the herd, winning three out of four matches, all in BiƱan, but ran into a brick wall known as Western Visayas, losing twice to Negros and once to Kaya Iloilo in that stretch.

For him, it all boils down to practicality, especially seeing his former teammates already lining up with Negros and Davao with the assurance of playing time still left to be desired

"Before I left Global (Cebu), my first option is Stallion (Laguna)," Bugas said citing the familiarity with  the teammates and the system that they have. "I also wanted to have a new challenge which is what they had right now."

With Bugas in tow, the gaffer extols for the fortuns of the club as he give them nothing but positives in more ways than one.

"We added players that we feel that we'll be able to add value to what we're doing, especially with Paolo on board," Nierras said. "I just told [Nicolas] Ferrer and [Jhan-jhan] Melliza it would be great to see the three of them together on the pitch at the same time."

Apart from a potential FEU reunion, he added that Bugas will give much needed flexibility and relief for club captain Ruben Doctora who had played a lot of games with nagging injuries while patrolling the midfield.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada