Words by Craig Fernandez
Louie Cacho scored a double hat-trick to lead the UA&P Men’s Futsal Team last Sunday, January 28 against San Beda Alabang. UA&P beat the undermanned San Beda Alabang 11-0, advancing their record to 2-0.
The game began with a new starting lineup from Coach Chris, consisting of Cacho, Marcelo, Fuentes, EJ Caliva, and returning from a left eye injury was starting goalkeeper, Austin Avila. Three minutes into the game and player number 10, Natividad of San Beda Alabang (SBA) collected a foul after excessively pushing EJ Caliva for the ball, giving UA&P the chance to score their first goal through a free kick. Louie Cacho stepped up to the plate to take the free kick. With a powerful strike and a slight curve to avoid the wall, Cacho scored the first goal for the Dragons. After a minute Cacho looked on fire when he immediately scored his second goal. An opportunity rose as a free kick was given since SBA’s goalkeeper was unable to throw the ball within five seconds. Louie looked like he would quickly grab his first hat-trick of the season, but he unfortunately missed a few inches to the left.
As the first half went on, the offense and pace of the game slowed down for both teams as SBA’s game play was all fast break. Their goalkeeper launched many long throws to the other end of the court, trying to create fast break opportunities for them. However, Austin Avila was so determined to grab every ball that was launched at him which earned him more than 20 saves and deflections. With 49 seconds left in the first half, EJ Caliva created an opportunity for Louie to grab his first hat trick of the season with a nice pass to the middle. The first half buzzer sounded and UA&P lead 3-0, while Cacho grabbed a hat trick. But he did not look too chipper about it. It was as if he felt like they still lacked something in the game.
Coach Chris gathered the team again and reminded them of their tactics. He said, “We have to refocus on our training”. Their morale started to rise and they focused more on what coach Chris said to them during the break.
The second half started and the Dragons looked like their offensive tempo and intensity increased. They seemed more aggressive to push the ball to the opponent’s half. Even though San Beda continued with their fast break plays, it didn’t seem to help as Austin was still determined to grab every ball thrown to their side no matter how high it was. 3 minutes into the second half, Cacho still hadn’t lost his fire and momentum as he scored his fourth goal. 2 minutes later Ganas went for a goal but it bounced off the goalkeeper’s hand as UA&P added another goal. Cacho then added one more goal to his resume as he scored another for the boys. Rafa Ortiz was later substituted in for the second half. He then quickly scored from outside the box as he hit the top right corner of the goal. Unfortunately due to some violations, Rafa was removed from the game because his ankle support protruded out of his shoe. After some time, Dominic Ganas also contributed in the game when he tried to go for a goal but a deflection off a defender’s foot caused the ball to roll into San Beda’s goal. However, after a few minutes Dominic could not control his temper, as a player tried to grab him making him swing his arms in the air earning him a yellow card for the second straight game. This grants him a suspension for the next game this coming Sunday. Cacho continued his game as Marcelo gave him a beautiful pass that gifted Louie his final goal. Marcelo then ended the game with a long shot with under a minute left.
The Dragons beat San Beda Alabang with a whopping 11-0 win. Despite this, the game had some negative results as Mike Fuentes is going to be questionable for next week against UA&P’s rival, Enderun due to an injury that he was forced to play with against San Beda. With Dominic Ganas also out due to a suspension, it looks like coach Chris will regroup the boys and try to focus for next Sunday’s game.