|Noel Marcaida is relieved that Kaya Iloilo got the job done quickly for the runner-up spot. Art Enriquez/Stallion Laguna|
BIÑAN -- For Noel Marcaida, Sunday's draw of Kaya Iloilo away to Stallion Laguna brought nothing but relief for his side as they got the job done before the season closes.
Only needing a point in their final three matches, the visitors got the much-needed result at the first time of asking when they get the runner-up finish with the 1-1 draw confirming their highest result in league play since coming the same spot six years ago in the old UFL.
“It’s a good thing that we were able to secure second spot early,” said the former Pachanga Diliman mentor, in which they set their final two league matches against JPV Marikina and Global Cebu as a dress rehearsal for the Copa Paulino Alcantara next month, where they are also their opponents in Group B.
“The next two games will be a showcase of performance from other players who haven’t had their minutes. It will be a chance for them to show what they can do—what they’re capable of—moving forward into the cup,” Marcaida added, as his acquisitions this season will be getting more playing time to get them ready on the Copa, including deadline-day signing Arnie Pasinabo.
Despite only 15 minutes on the pitch, the former Ceres Negros midfielder got the grips of what Kaya football is all about, as Marcaida credits his former teammates such as Jayson Panhay and Camelo Tacusalme in Pasinabo's rapid adjustment to his new club.
“When Arnie has the ball he makes sure to make a difference. We just have to work on giving more minutes so he can get more comfortable with his position in the side,” he further commented, saying that they are taking steps to get his prime form back in the day with Green Archers United.
“Everytime Arnie stepped in the pitch, he make sure that he is a threat. That is one thing that we were looking forward to him.”
Iloilo will take on Marikina in Carmona on Wednesday afternoon for their penultimate match of their season.
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