Arellano University guns for the title while College of Saint Benilde (CSB) seeks to forge a do-or-die match when the two teams collide in Game 2 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 seniors football finals at 6 p.m. tonight at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Chiefs grabbed the upper hand in the best-of-three title series after a hard-fought 3-2 win behind Jumbel Guinabang’s heroics in extra time.
Following a 2-2 first half deadlock and a scoreless second half that forced an extension period, Guinabang led a counter-attack en route to blasting the match-winner in the 117th minute.
The former national team standout also notched Arellano’s opening goal while his teammate Charles Gamutan scored the second. CSB’s Daniel Liozo and Renz Tulayba negated both.
Vel Saluria and his Chiefs, who quickly dispatched Lyceum of the Philippines University in the semifinals, are keen to capture their second trophy in the school’s history. Arellano won its first football crown only in 2016.
“We hope to show the same kind of intensity in the next game, maybe more, for us to get the title,” said Saluria in Filipino.
The Legarda-based squad’s main man Roberto Corsame Jr. is expected to return after serving his suspension.
Standing in the way of the Chiefs’ championship run are the Blazers, who are eyeing to force a winner-take-all game on Wednesday.
The Marlon Maro-mentored team, which dethroned San Beda College in their playoff tie, is bent on ending a seven-year title drought. St. Benilde last won a championship in 2010.
In the juniors division, San Beda tries to complete its title-retention campaign with a sweep of CSB-La Salle Greenhills at 4 p.m.
The Red Cubs banked on Jimmar Castillo’s second half brace to rule the finals opener and move a win toward back-to-back championships.