De La Salle University (DLSU) took home the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Women’s League title, surviving the University of Santo Tomas (UST), 1-0 at the last game day of the tournament last February 16th at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
The Lady Booters only need a goal from Jan Reese Jumawan in the 9th minute to take home their third PFF Women’s League crown since the league officially established in 2016.
‘’I just told the girls that they have to recover from their last game regardless of anything else. The [undefeated] record is just a record — who cares about records? The most important thing is to win the tournament, that’s what we joined for,” said DLSU head coach Hans Peter-Smit via Tiebreaker Times.
‘’[The university teams] are all preparing for the UAAP, and the way my team is playing is far from what is expected, so we still need to do more work. The way the girls played today is still beyond their abilities and capabilities. This is not the way we play, so we’ll see what happens until then,” he added.
DLSU needs to win their final game of the season against UST after suffering a 3-2 loss at the hands of Far Eastern University (FEU) in their previous assignment.
DLSU finished with 45 points en route to the title, while FEU finished second with 41 points after winning their last game against Stallion Hiraya, 2-0 courtesy of Carmela Althiche and Glory Ann Lado goals in the 49th and 89th minute respectively.
UST round-up the podium finishers with 40 points in a league participated by 10 teams.
DLSU’s Bea Delos Reyes was named as tournament MVP while her teammate Glyness Dela Cruz bagged the Best Defender award. UST’s Shelah Cadag named as Best Midfielder and Best Goalkeeper award went to FEU’s Kimberly Parina.
Isabella Bandoja of Tuloy FC got the Best Striker and Golden Boot awards after scoring 30 goals this season. Nomads FC bagged the Fair Play Award.
After the PFF Women’s League title conquest, up next for DLSU is defending the UAAP Women’s Football title with the tournament expected to start in March.
Ceres-Negros rise in the latest Asain club rankings
Despite a failed campaign to qualify in the Group Stage of AFC Champions League, Ceres-Negros ranking in the latest Asian club rankings improved.
The Busmen took the 25th spot in the AFC club rankings as of January 29th , according to the rankings released by Footy Rankings , thus becoming the number one football team in Southeast Asia, beating Thailand’s Buriram United, which occupied the 26th spot or second overall among Southeast Asia football clubs.
Ceres-Negros tallied 40.75 points against the 40.67 points of Buriram United, paving the way to maintain the number one status among fellow Southeast Asia clubs after ranking 32nd last year with 40.99 points, thanks to championship conquests in the 2019 Philippines Football League season and Copa Paulino Alcantara and good showing in the AFC Cup.
“The (top) ranking is really a reward for the hard work and sacrifices of the players and coaching staff,” said Ceres-Negros owner Rey Yanson via Philippine News Agency.
Ceres-Negros almost qualified for the Group Stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League but they suffered a 2-0 loss against FC Tokyo in the final stage of the playoff round. The Bacolod-based squad defeated both Myanmar’s Shan United and Thailand’s Port FC to reach the final stage of the playoff round.
“Our last three matches – even against FC Tokyo – showed that the level of the Philippines is improving,” Yanson added.
Yanson also acknowledged the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and the PFL in helping them to achieve an amazing feat and continuing in supporting the clubs and the league.
“Ceres would not have reached this position if not for (them). We share this honor with all of them. It’s also a call for everyone to support the league and Philippine football,” Yanson said. “The club has gone through so much in the past year, but the coaches and the players have shown a lot of character to keep going,” Yanson added
In the upcoming AFC Cup, Yanson hopes for another successful campaign for the Busmen.
“We are hoping for another successful campaign in the AFC Cup this year,” he said.
Two other Filipino clubs also included in the list are Global Cebu ranked 66th, much higher than from 75th spot last year, despite not seeing action in the major international competitions for the last few years and Kaya Iloilo, a club competing for the AFC Cup for the last few years, just like Ceres-Negros ranked 97th, lower than the 86th ranked in November 2019 rankings.