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Once teammates in Morayta and Loyola, Amita, Bugas set aside mutual respect as Laguna, Iloilo tussle

After bringing glory to the Green and Gold, Arnel Amita and Paolo Bugas go separate ways as Stallion Laguna and Kaya Iloilo battle for the fourth time.
By Kevin Estrada

MAKATI -- Saturday's tiff between Stallion Laguna and Kaya Iloilo will be their fourth matchup between them, yet this one is of the biggest importance with only six points separating them in a tight battle for second as they take the pitch in BiƱan to determine their fate as the race to the AFC spots gets heated before the league blows its final whistle.

However, the attention will focus on a pair of former teammates who brought pride to the Green and Gold of Morayta, and right after playing their final match for FEU, have gone into separate ways in the PFL

Both Arnel Amita and Paolo Bugas won back-to-back crowns in the UAAP for the Tamaraws as well winning the UFL Cup with Loyola, and flash forward to 2018, they have now gone to their separate ways.

Bugas is set to play for his second PFL club for the home side after leaving Global Cebu earlier this season, while Amita finally set to debut in the league for the visitors after knee injuries in two of his past three years with the Tamaraws that even hampered his deal with the former Meralco Manila.

Laguna gaffer Ernie Nierras was quick to notice that one of the talking points of the match would come from Morayta itself.

"Yun ang side story, FEU v FEU. Dun ako sa FEU,"
he said, noting that the sides each had a quartet of former Tamaraws in their first team.

Apart from Amita, Eric Giganto and the Menzi siblings are in Noel Marcaida's squad, while Bugas has Jhan-jhan Melliza, Nicolas Ferrer and Jason Cordova in the Stallion's stable. Together, they had sixteen UAAP winner's medals between them when FEU won four titles from 2008-2015.

"Ah suntukan na," the ever flamboyant manager even added during the pre-match conference yesterday, drawing some laughter afterwards.

After being partnered at the heart of the midfield during their days with master Kim, Nano and Pao had nothing but praises to each other but they had to go separate ways.

"Malaki ang respeto kay Paolo kasi siyempre teammates kami. Alam ko at alam niya mga styles namin. Parang give respect to each other," Amita said.

"We respect each other, but this is a professional game. Looking forward to the game to see him again," Bugas concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada