GIO Pabualan shone as Far Eastern University-Diliman beat De La Salle-Zobel, 4-2, via penalties after a 1-1 draw at extra time to annex its eighth consecutive crown Thursday night in the UAAP Season 80 juniors football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Showcasing his wares on national TV, Pabualan capped a checkered high school career by slotting in the championship-clinching spot kick for the Baby Tamaraws.
It was also Pabualan, who opened the scoring for FEU, producing solid technique in the 15th minute.
Aside from winning the Best Striker honors, Pabualan went home with the season MVP award.
Pabualan and his batchmate Orlan Togores thus became the first student-athletes to win six juniors titles in any sport in the league.
“Bilang part ng six straight championships, sobrang blessed talaga kami ni Orlan. Kailangan naming turuan ang mga rookies para magkaroon ng inheritance,” said Pabualan, who scored a elimination round best 12 goals for the Baby Tamaraws.
The Junior Archers then scored the equalizer in the 40th minute courtesy of a Joshua San Diego goal from a John Rhey Lagura assist.
Other FEU awardees were French Talaroc (Best Defender) and Jason Blanco (Best Goalkeeper).
De La Salle-Zobel’s Shanden Vergara emerged as the Best Midfielder, while the Fair Play Award went to Ateneo.
(Rizal Memorial Stadium)
9 a.m. – NU vs Ateneo (Men)
1:30 p.m. – DLSU vs AdU (Men)
4 p.m. – FEU vs UE (Men)