National University (NU) demolished Adamson University, 7-0, to grab the fourth spot in University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 football tournament at the Moro Lorenzo Field on Thursday.
The Bulldogs were powered by the four-goal performance of veteran Paolo Salenga to register their third win.
Salenga quickly converted in the fifth minute following a multitude of shots from their side to take the early advantage against Adamson.
Ten minutes after, Salenga once again found the back of the net using his agile footwork to blast through the defense and double NU’s lead to 2-0.
Set pieces kept the Falcons’ offense going as the tough back-line of NU swatted away their every attempt into the latter’s half.
Marole Bungay scored the third goal of the Bulldogs in the 41st minute for a comfortable 3-0 edge going into the midgame intermission.
When play resumed, NU was swift on the offensive as two consecutive chances of Salenga in the 58th and 64th minutes went through the hands of Adamson keeper Carl Viray.
Two more goals were notched in favor of the Bulldogs courtesy of Lawrence Colina and Patrick Valenzuela in the 65th and 67th minutes, consecutively, to seal the resounding victory for their squad.
Adamson fought hard in search of a consolation goal toward the dying minutes of regulation but their assaults were unable to pierce through NU’s defense.
With the win, the Bulldogs are now tied with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons with three wins, three draws and a loss but have an edge over the latter by seven points on goal difference.
The Soaring Falcons have been handed their seventh loss in eight games and stayed in the seventh spot of the standings.
In the other game, Ateneo de Manila University survived University of the East (UE), 3-2, to clinch its fourth triumph.
It was UE who took the upper hand in the first 45 minutes of action as Regil Galaura managed to hit his mark four minutes before the break to give his crew a 1-0 lead at halftime.
However, Mashu Yoshioka scored two sequential goals in the 60th and 63rd minutes to give Ateneo a single goal advantage.
The teams were at a 2-2 deadlock at the 80th minute of the bout after Mar Opena’s strike punched through the Atenean goal.
Julian Roxas salvaged the game for the Blue Eagles after just four minutes of the equalizer with a goal.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES