Eyes on the prize, says Ateneo XI co-captain

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Ateneo de Manila University clinched the top seeding in the Final Four round of Season 79 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s football after blanking arch rival De La Salle University last Sunday.

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But for Blue Eagles co-captain Julian Roxas, their job is far from over and their goal remains the same – bring home the UAAP crown.

The third year midfielder starred in Ateneo’s 2-0 whipping of La Salle to secure its No. 1 spot in the Final Four stage with 10 wins, two draws and one loss for 32 points.

The Blue Eagles still have Far Eastern University left in their schedule in the elimination phase on April 20 and even though the game has no bearing for them as they are already assured of the top seed in the semis, they want to finish strong going to the next round.

“We still have to work. It is still not over. We are already in the Final Four but we still need to continue working. We will keep working this whole break to achieve our goal of getting the championship,” said Roxas, who was part of the Blue Eagles who lost to University of the Philippines in last year’s finals.

The win over the Green Archers was very timely for Ateneo as its confidence was shattered by a 1-2 loss to the lowly University of the East squad.

Roxas knew that they couldn’t afford to lose another game, especially against La Salle as the Final Four round approaches.

“It was a good team win. After last Thursday’s loss, we knew we had to bounce back. We played really well today (Sunday) and we gave it our all. I am really happy we got the three points,” he added.

Roxas and rookie Sam Lim delivered the goals for the Blue Eagles with the former firing the opening strike in the 38th minute.

Lim sealed the win with a goal off a rebound deep inside La Salle’s box in the fourth minute of stoppage time and booted out the Green Archers in the Final Four contention.

Roxas said the team is keen on finishing the elimination round on a high note to have their confidence intact for the knockout Final Four round.

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