San Beda College took the solo top spot in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 92 football tournament after beating Lyceum of the Philippines University, 3-0, on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Red Lions, who are tied with College of Saint Benilde (CSB) with four wins each, grabbed the No. 1 seed of the competition after holding a two-point edge on goal difference.
The Bedans relied on a first half surge to remain unbeaten in their initial matches in the preliminary round of the football meet of the oldest athletic association in the country.
San Beda shifted their throttle to high gear against the Pirates and quickly took the lead just two minutes after the opening whistle courtesy of a shot by Aljo Zabala.
Elnie Dorimon doubled the advantage of the men from Mendiola after evading the defense of their foes to send the ball to the back of the net in the fifth minute.
The brigade in Red-and-White continued battering the back line of Lyceum throughout the first half with veteran booter Estephen Abriol placing the final tally in score sheet in the 40th minute.
The Pirates tested their luck on their offensive end during the second half of play but were unlucky not to convert on their chances against the formidable defense of their rivals.
“Overall, I think I am satisfied with the result. We got our objective of converting our chances early but we just did not finish strong in this game,” head coach Christopher Pedimonte told The Manila Times in Filipino after the game.
He was impressed that they were able to get their offense going in the start of the match but stressed that his wards needs to work on sustaining the same pace throughout the whole 90 minutes.
“I think one of the things you can take from this is that the boys delivered in the early part of the game. That was really our plan. We wanted to take the lead in the first 15 minutes of the match,” he said.
Pedimonte clarified that they are still a long way from reaching being in their top form and reiterated “I think our overall game still needs a lot of work if we want to retake the championship.”
Meanwhile, the Benilde Blazers defeated Arellano University, 4-0, to hand the reigning titleholders their first loss.
Edienzel Velizano lifted the Taft Avenue-based platoon with twin goals in the 18th and 50th minutes while teammates Daniel Liozo and Carmelo Genco scored one goal each.
Emilio Aguinaldo College barged into the winners’ column after winning over Mapua Institute of Technology, 3-0, via a default in the final game of the day.