UP to solidify hold of top spot against UE

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University of the Philippines (UP) seeks to secure the pole position heading into the playoffs when it battles eliminated University of the East (UE) in the top division of the Ang Liga Season 15 collegiate football tournament today at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig City.

The streaking Maroon Booters tangle with the struggling Red Warriors for their respective last elimination round assignments at 12 noon.

Riding high on a seven-game winning run, UP aims to lock its grip of the top spot and keep the momentum heading into the semifinals.

The Diliman-based booters hold the No. 1 position with 21 points built on seven straight victories against a loss.

Anto Gonzales’ wards clinched the first semifinals berth as it dealt College of St. Benilde its first defeat, 2-0, last October 16 at the De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex Football Field in Biñan, Laguna.

That important game saw the State U struck in opposite halves courtesy of Miggy Clariño (25th minute) and national team standout Fidel Tacardon (82nd minute) despite being undermanned with the ejection of Clariño for incurring his second yellow card early in the second half.

UE, on the other hand, is out to salvage whatever it can in its remaining game in this year’s edition of the premier preseason tilt.

The also-ran Red Warriors, who are sitting on No. 8 with seven points on two wins and a draw against five defeats, bowed out of contention as they fell on a three-game losing skid.

In their previous outing, the booters from Recto suffered a 1-3 setback at the hands of last year’s runner-up Ateneo De Manila University a week ago at the former’s home turf Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Quezon City.

In the second division, Ateneo Juniors Football Team eyes to strengthen its playoff bid when it battles eliminated University of Perpetual Help System DALTA at 3 p.m. at the Moro Lorenzo pitch.

Ateneo will slug it out with Malayan Colleges Laguna for the last post-season slot as both squads carry three points but the former has a superior goal difference.

In order to advance to the semifinals, the Blue Eaglet Booters need to win their final preliminary round match against the Altas Booters and hope that the Wizards will stumble in their last assignment.

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