While most consider 13 an unlucky number, St. La Salle football standout Jo Warren Bedia, an Interdisciplinary Studies senior, does not mind wearing the jersey bearing that number this year.
“I change jersey numbers every year and this time I chose 13,” he said.
No. 13 booted in the icebreaker in the regional PRISAA Meet collegiate championship in Roxas City on Saturday midway in the first half, with teammate Joshua Antonio Dutosme heading the insurance marker in the dying ticks of the first canto extension.
At whistle time, USLS-Ceres, representing NOPSSCEA, registered its fifth consecutive win over archrival Iloilo, represented by Central Philippine University and Western Institute of Technology, with its 2-0 triumph.
It was not really an easy win for us, said Bedia, a native of Calinog, Iloilo, as they are champions in their province, adding that many of their rivals were his former Palaro teammates.
“Not really a lucky number, but I chose 13 as it is the date of my birthday, “ he further said.
Bedia received an early cross pass from Kent Guevara, after beating an Ilonggo left back defender then broke the defense of two rivals for a one-one with the goalkeeper which he eluded for a well-placed marker.
Dutosme, on the other, hand, headed the second goal from Tristan Kit Robles' corner kick as he was positioned near the goalmouth.
Bedia and Dutosme, with their teammates, said they were determined to win the regional title for their coach Freddie `Nene' Lazarito. “We offered our game and victory to him, especially because he is retiring,” they said.
The win in Roxas City, Lazarito said, was the fifth straight win for the team since Ceres executive Leo Rey Yanson started supporting the team. Winning football for five consecutive years in the NOPSSCEA and PRISAA seasons is awesome and wonderful,” the veteran football mentor said.
No. 5 as the winning number for the team also meant something for Bedia. The striker booked a total of five goals, the highest for any player in the regional tournament, as he scored four in the first match against Capiz.
Dutosme's header was his third marker, the second best output in the meet for the Stingers, along with teammate Nessi Ramos' triple in the first game.
Dutosme admitted that he has been feeling the pain of a meniscus strain but forced himself to play hard “for Coach Nene” as my way of thanking him for what he has done for my varsity life.”
We all wanted to win and we sacrificed a lot, because this is our coach's last season and also because we wanted to play longer with our graduating teammates, said Dutosme, a native of Bukidnon who is now looking forward to the National PRISAA Meet in Koronadal, South Cotabato .
Dutosme further said that he also offered his games to his mother, Mary Joan, whose birthday coincided with their championship match day as he, likewise, admitted that he “drew inspiration to play his best from fellow Stinger Rosel Sy of the women's volleyball team. “
The champion team is skippered by Florence Agraviador.
With Bedia, Dutosme, Guevarra, Robles and Nessi in the team are defenders Regie Cisneros, Van Lloyd Baguioro, Rio Ian Perez and Jemay Domecillo;
Midfielders Hanessin Prince Antony, Ashli Pamilar, Arnel Marcellana, Ramie Dizon and Joebel Siason;
Strikers Charles Ivan Barberan and Luther Silava as well as goalkeepers Carlos Pinote and John Mark Jamelo.
Carlo Andrew Demigillo is the assistant coach and trainor with Dr. Emily Zerrudo as team physician.
Coach Lazarito reiterated that he is “grateful to the people behind the success of the team – the USLS administration and faculty and staff, Yanson for the financial assistance, my fellow coaches and to the players and their parents.”
He added he is thankful to the “spiritual prayer warriors who keep on praying for the victory of the team.”*AVDC
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