Professional experience can boost National University’s (NU) bid in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) football tournament, according to Paolo Salenga.
Salenga, along his fellow NU standouts Arnel Casil and Darwin Regala, have played among the top football stars in the country in the United Football League.
The 21-year-old winger plays in the first division of the league for two-time champions Global FC together with Azkal stars like Misagh Bahadoran, Dennis Villanueva and Daisuke Sato.
“The level of play we experienced in the UFL is different. It is something that we can apply in our UAAP games to boost our chances,” Salenga explained in Filipino in an interview with The Manila Times.
The Bulldogs are off to good start in the season, booking an impressive 4-0 win against University of the East (UE) at the Moro Lorenzo Field on Thursday.
Both NU and UE knocked on scoring the opener during their match but it was NU’s Lawrence Colina who opened the scoring with a strike in the 37th minute to put his side ahead at halftime.
Salenga also had his hand in the triumphant start to the season after sinking a shot from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute to put NU two paces ahead of their opponents.
Nico Macapal sealed the victory for the Sampaloc-based booters following two quick goals before the end of the regulation in the 86th and 89th minutes.
Salenga stressed that he is happy to start the season on a high note but reiterated that he is more delighted to be back playing for NU.
“Of course it is a privilege to once again play for my Alma Matter and I am happy that I can once again serve NU,” he said.
After a careful review by the NU camp, it was revealed that Salenga is still eligible to play for another season for the Bulldogs despite his two-year stint in Arellano University and a year of residency following his transfer.
“They did not count my residency year to my total playing years in the UAAP so I can still play for another season,” he stated.