Jumbel Guinabang delivered the match-winning goal in the extra time powering Arellano University to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over College of Saint Benilde (CSB) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 seniors football championship on Friday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Guinabang, who blasted a brace, struck with only three minutes left, bringing the Chiefs closer to their second trophy in history.
“I’m happy with the performance of my players especially in the first half. We followed our game plan,” said Arellano head coach Vel Saluria, whose squad bagged its first title in 2015.
Saluria was also elated to see his wards step up in the absence of their top striker Roberto Corsame Jr., who was suspended for the finals opener.
Arellano notched the first goal in the high-scoring first half courtesy of Guinabang’s third minute strike but CSB quickly pulled even with main man Daniel Liozo scoring a minute later.
Charles Gamutan capitalized on their opponents’ over-reliance on offense as he posted his goal off a counter-attack, pushing the Chiefs ahead 2-1 in the 26th minute.
The Blazers found an equalizer anew, thanks to Renz Tulayba’s shot just outside the box at the half-hour mark.
A scoreless second half ensued, leading to another 30 minutes of action.
With the match looking to be decided by a shootout, Guinabang took charge of the attack then drained the breakaway goal in the 117th to give the Chiefs a one-game upper hand heading into Game 2 on Monday at 6 p.m. at the same venue.
In the juniors division, San Beda College leaned on Jimmar Castillo to sneak past CSB-La Salle Greenhills, 2-1, stepping closer to a back-to-back crowns and 17th overall.
Castillo scored in the 46th and 52nd minutes as the Red Cubs overcame the goal by Junior Blazers’ Vin Dela Cruz in the 32nd.