MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) battled to a scoreless draw with an already-eliminated De La Salle University to finish as the No. 4 seed in the UAAP Season 79 men's football tournament on Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field.
The Growling Tigers could have claimed the No. 3 seed in the Final 4 with a win, but the Green Archers denied them at every point to share points.
"We fielded in players without yellow cards, including the goalkeeper, so we have chances against La Salle. Pero disappointed ako sa performance ng mga players," said UST coach Marjo Allado.
"This is the time na in 90 minutes, iso-show mo 'yung quality mo. Siguro, some of the players are rusty," he added.
The Tigers finished the elimination round with 21 points, and booked a date with No. 1 seed Ateneo de Manila University in the knockout semifinals.
Ateneo ended their scintillating elimination round campaign by besting Far Eastern University (FEU), 3-1, to finish at the top of the table with 35 points.
Jarvey Gayoso scored his ninth goal of the season to put Ateneo ahead in the 32nd minute before FEU's Dominique Canonigo delivered the equalizer five minutes later.
With a beautiful one touch, Renko Gaudiel struck in the 43rd minute to restore the Eagles lead. Carlo Liay then sank the penalty in the 58th to give Ateneo a 3-1 cushion.
Defending champion University of the Philippines and FEU collide in the other Final 4 pairing, which is also a one-match affair.
The Archers, who will miss the Final 4 for the first time since the format was instituted five seasons ago, wound up with 16 points.
For coach Hans Smit, La Salle's rebuilding process has already started.
"This is the first day of tryouts," said Smit. "I'm glad this is over with."
Smit's campaign in the women's division has gone far better. The De La Salle Lady Archers routed UP, 5-0, to move closer to completing a double-round sweep of the women's elimination round and finishing with the maximum 21 points.
UST beat also-ran FEU, 4-2, for 13 points in second place.
The Lady Archers shoot for a sweep against the Tigresses in the final day of the elimination round on Saturday.
Tournament rules calls for a sweep by the No. 1 team leads to a knockout match between the No. 2 and 3 for the other Finals berth match.
A win or a draw by UST will arrange a one-game championship with La Salle on May 7.
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