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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Astig Futsal keeps championship

Astig Futsal players and coach, standing fourth from left, pose for a photo after receiving the championship trophy in the Saipan Soccer School’s 2013 U13 Co-ed Christmas Futsal Tournament last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex. (ROSELYN B. MONROY) Astig Futsal won its rematch against Fake Madrid to rule the Saipan Soccer School’s 2013 U13 Co-ed Christmas Futsal Tournament.

Astig Futsal pulled off a 2-1 victory in the title match last Saturday at the TSL Sports Complex to duplicate its 1-0 championship win against the same team in the U12 division of the 2012 edition of the annual tournament. The championship in the 2013 tournament was Astig Futsal’s fourth, as it also topped the boys U15 and girls U17 divisions of the inaugural event (2011).

James Ermitanio helped Astig Futsal add another trophy to its collection after scoring both goals in the title rematch against Fake Madrid. He lit up the scoreboard in the opening half of the first frame to lift Astig Futsal to a 1-0 win. Then past the halfway mark of the first 25 minutes of play, Sunjoon Tenorio equalized for Fake Madrid.

The championship match remained even in the majority of the second half until Ermitanio converted a free kick around the last eight-minute mark of the game. He hit the go-ahead goal from the right sideline several steps away from the midcourt. The Astig Futsal forward went for a cross and with players packed near the box and seemed to be providing the former a shield, Fake Madrid goalie Clayton Izuka did not see the ball heading to his right.

Now down and with the clock ticking, Fake Madrid tried to go for quick attacks on several occasions, but Astig Futsal’s defense was there to foil the former’s bid. Astig Futsal either kicked the ball out to the sideline or stole possession, frustrating Fake Madrid in the closing minutes of the title match.

Ermitanio made the last defensive stop when he anticipated Guinevere Borja’s pass to Edwin Kim and kicked the ball out. Joining Ermitanio on the champion team are goalie Chevy Kate Alipio, Mia Carreon, Krizel Tuazon, Diana Maniacop, Angel Sally, Mareko Tekopua, Alan Hinson, Steven Martin, and Joshua De Leon. Jershwin Angeles coached Astig Futsal.

Astig Futsal was awarded a trophy for its title win, while each member of the squad received medals. Medals were awarded, too, to Tenorio and Borja, who scored the most goals in the boys and girls divisions, respectively. Tenorio collected 14 goals in the double-round robin play, while Borja earned 13.

The Pacific Trading, Co.-sponsored Astig Futsal and Fake Madrid arranged another faceoff in the finals after bagging the Top 2 spots in the elimination round.

Foot Loose and Kanoa Mighty Orange played in the consolation game with the former winning third place after a 7-1 triumph last Saturday. Chad Shankweiler led Foot Loose to the lopsided victory, scoring two goals. John Rojas, Jherico Tiamzon, James Garcia, Bernadette Horey, and Carla Ballesteros added one each, while Anthony Fruit was the lone scorer for Kanoa.

In-kind prizes were handed to all four teams during a brief awards ceremony headed by SSS staff Angie Ito, who noted the increased participation of female players in the league.

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