Team Betde and Matansa Sparks clinched the championship in their respective divisions in the 2014 SSS Christmas Youth Futsal Tournament last Saturday night at the TSL Sports Complex.
Team Betde took the co-ed U12 title after rallying past the Lil’ Rascals, 7-5, while Matansa claimed the girls U15 crown, following a 5-1 domination of Shirley’s Lady Blues.
The co-ed U12 division championship was played first with Team Betde, which topped the double-round robin elimination, starting slow, as it faced a 2-3 deficit after the opening half.
The Lil’ Rascals clung to the one-goal lead after drawing goals from Taka Borka, Mark Essalan, and Go Sekiguchi.
Thaiphi Austria and John Michael Rojas drilled the two goals for Team Betde and they continued to lead the squad in the second half to steal the lead from the Lil’ Rascals and bag the division title. Austria and Rojas scored two more goals each in the second half, while Kohtaro Goto also made it to the board in the final 20 minutes of play.
The Lil’ Rascals fell short in the second half, as they only got one goal each from Esalan and Sekiguchi. Esalan registered his second goal in the opening minutes of the final half to give the Lil’ Rascals more cushion, 4-2, before Austria and Rojas teamed up in Team Betde’s fightback.
Team Betde was awarded the championship trophy after foiling the Lil’ Rascals’ upset bid. Members of the champion squad also got medals. Completing Team Betde were goalie Floyd Mina, Angelo Bergancia, John Ezekiel and John Guiller Canape, Jenny Ann Capayas, Kyla Mae Tuazon, Emelyn Aniana, and Franz De Ramos.
In the girls U15 finale, cousins Angel and Lyka Sally towed Matansa to the title win, scoring two goals apiece. Pinyarat Shankweiller notched the other goal for Matansa.
Matansa led at the break, 3-1, off Shankweiller, Angel, and Lyka’s goals, while Jobelle Tabuena hit the lone goal for Shirley’s in the first half.
In the second half, Shirley’s was pressed to score as many goals as it can to catch up with Matansa, but simply failed to complete the plays. A frustrated Diana Maniacop made six attempts, all to no avail, as her three shots were off to the left, two were over the top post, and the other one was blocked by the legs of Matansa goalie Carla Ballesteros.
While Shirley’s had difficulty scoring in the second half, it was the opposite for Matansa. Lyka hit the first goal midway in that frame, as she faced only one defender outside the penalty box and converted the long shot. The last goal came under the five-minute mark with Angel stealing possession from a Lady Blues player and unloading the shot from the left sideline.
Joining Angel, Lyka, Ballesteros, and Pinyarat on the champion squad were Haane Eugenio, Kiana Rife, Lizann Guerrero, Maile Aldrich, Mikela Masayos, Sunny Woo, and Leisha Sally.