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Makati hurls last laugh in PNG after beating Davao City in men's football final

The UMak men's football players show their gold medals. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The last laugh for the Philippine National Games belonged to Makati after the team pipped Davao City, 1-0, in the men's football final on Friday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

While Baguio, which as of 10 a.m. earlier in the day looked poised to win the overall championship in the said meet that ran simultaneously with Batang Pinoy, Makati assured that the last gold medal on the line belonged to them as the University of Makati-backed squad beat Davao City with a late goal.

Billy Alcantara, a Grade 12 student in UMak's senior high school, struck the match's lone goal in the 75th minute to the delight of Makati's fans.

"It was all from the preparation at saka kay coach Aber [Ruzgal], yung tiwala," Alcantara, who came on as a substitute, told Dugout Philippines after the match.

Alcantara also credited John Rey Daohog for the assist that led to the goal.

Ruzgal, who also coached the returning Davao Aguilas during the recent Copa Paulino Alcantara, said that it was all about trusting the system.

"To be honest, that is a system that I've been working for," Ruzgal told Dugout Philippines in a separate interview.

"We proved that through that system, may mararating kami."

He further revealed that both UMak and Davao Aguilas run the same system, and the said system bore fruit as UMak ruled the PNG and Davao pushed Kaya Iloilo to the limit in the Copa Paulino Alcantara final.

Baguio bagged the bronze after edging Camarines Sur, 3-2, in the third place match. 

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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