BACOLOD CITY , Philippines – University of the Philippines stunned Ateneo de Manila, 1-0, on a late goal by striker Kaira Dimatulac to nail its first ever football title in one of the many surprises marking the penultimate day of the 17th Sandugo-University Games here yesterday.
University of the East pulled off a shocker in repulsing UAAP champion Ateneo, 68-65, to arrange a men's basketball finale versus National U, a 67-66 winner over Adamson.
Roy Sumang scored three crucial free throws at endgame as the Warriors eased out the Blue Eagles, playing here minus several key players including Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva and Ryan Buenafe.
"I told the players to never give up, just hang in there and wait for our chance. I'm glad that it came," said UE coach Boyzie Zamar.
After a scoreless tie in the regulation, Dimatulac, a 21-year-old fourth year Clothing Technology student, kneed the winning goal in injury time as UP scored a breakthrough championship in this annual meet sponsored by Sandugo and backed by Smart.
Dimatulac, who also had goals in their 3-1 win over La Salle and in a victory over Far Eastern U, readily seized the moment when the ball hit the goal post after the deflection by the Ateneo goalie off a penalty shot by Molly Manalansan.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," said Dimatulac in delivering the biggest goal of her life.
Dimatulac's spectacular goal sent the Lady Maroons and their small but loud-cheering fans that included Sen. Pia Cayetano into a frenzied celebration while leaving the Lady Eagles in tears.
"I can't describe the feeling. It's unbelievable," said UP coach Franklin Cacacho.
Men's football also produced a shocker after University of St. La Salle-Bacolod stunned defending champion La Salle-Taft, 2-0, in a semifinal match played at the Pana-ad Parks and Stadium.
The Stingers go for the crown versus the winner of the other semis pitting the Far Eastern U Tams and the San Beda Lions, the reigning NCAA champions.
Same with women's basketball after National U unleashed a massive run in regulation then hung tough enough in overtime to shock heavy favorite Adamson, 91-87, for a spot in today’s finale.
The Lady Bulldogs will collide with the Lady Tams, who edged the Lyceum Lady Pirates, 52-50.
NU ended Adamson's five-year reign and spoiled the latter's bid to win its seventh championship in this annual meet.
"The girls showed heart," said NU coach Patrick Aquino, whose charges are making up for their failure to make the UAAP Final Four.
St. Benilde, for its part, struck hardest in taekwondo, harvesting a whopping seven golds from victories by Kiela Therese Montinola (lightweight), Karla Krizza Ramos (welter), Charlene Virtudazo (middle heavy), Tristan Avelino (fin), Glenn Francis Gacal (feather), Andre Louis Arcilla (light) and Dennis Rocel Resoba (middle heavy).
In men's volleyball, Far Eastern U bucked a first set defeat to turn back pesky Adamson, 13-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-19, and St. La Salle-Bacolod smashed Santo Tomas, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, to forge a gold medal match today.
In sepak takraw, Rizal Technological U lost the first regu to University of Mindanao, 12-15, 12-15, but bounced back taking the second, 15-8, 15-4, and the decider, 15-4, 15-9, to pocket the gold.