Two teams from Tarlac State University unleashed the TSUian grit and passion for sports as they snatched the second and third-place trophies in the 1st All-Tarlac Futsal Tournament organized by the Capi FC and Tarlac Unified Football and Futsal Club earlier today (July 9).
Players and trainees of the TSU Men's Football Team were divided into two groups, which topped the tournament's two brackets.
Both teams from TSU met during the crossover as TSU Team A ranked first in Bracket B, while TSU Team B landed top two in Bracket A.
Advancing to the finals after an intricate shootout round, Team A fought for the championship trophy against Capi FC, ending with a score of 4-2.
Despite the loss, Team A captain Federic Guerrero was still pleased with the performance of the two TSU teams, highlighting the "connection and chemistry" of the athletes as their strength.
"Nagbunga po 'yung ilang araw na pagte-training namin. Pinush po kami ng mga coaches namin para mas maging maganda performance namin... Nag-enjoy naman po kami and nakapag-laro po lahat, and proud po ako sa nakuha namin na second and third place," he said.
Meanwhile, Team B grabbed third place after besting the Muskada FC from Moncada town of Tarlac, 3-1.
Aside from the group trophies, Team B captain Vien Joefry Gonzales clinched the Best Defender award with 33 defensive stops.
"First of all, thank you po kay God sa award (Best Defender) na binigay niya dahil unexpected po talaga. 'Di ko akalain na isa po ako sa mapipili. Basta ang sa akin lang po is ginagawa ko po lagi 'yung 100% ko to perform better and isapuso po 'yung laro," Gonzales said in an interview, referring to his individual award.
"And thank you po sa mga teammates ko sa tiwala na binigay nila sa akin. especially po to Sir Franc [Juanatas] and Coach/Ma'am Jazzel [Manabat] sa support and tiwala na binigay nyo po sa akin at sa amin," he added.
Both Guerrero and Gonzales vowed to improve their perceived weaknesses in preparation for the SCUAA III Olympics.
Mr. Franc Lewis Juanatas, TSU Men's Football Team assistant coach, was also impressed with how the groups played from the eliminations to the championship since he also played as the first goalkeeper of Team B.
"Puso sa paglalaro ang ipinakita ng dalawang grupo. Pinakita at pinatunayan nila kung gaano nila kamahal ang larong ito," he said.
Juanatas also thanked Coach Gell Villanueva, the team's trainer, and Dr. Ligaya Gina Salangsang, TSU Sports Head, for always supporting the team.
"Gusto rin naming pasalamatan ni Ma'am Jazzel si Coach Gell sa pag-guide sa amin during the training and sa pagbibigay ng drills na gagawin namin, pati sa walang sawang suporta at pagmamahal ni Ma'am Gina sa football team, " he added.
According to Mr. Angelo Simbol, one of the organizers, the 1st All-Tarlac Futsal Tournament is an avenue to hone and unleash the skills of futsal players here in Tarlac before competing against teams outside of the province.
He added that the tournament's proceeds from the registration fees will be used to purchase new balls, training equipment, and bibs for a grassroots futsal program for Tarlaqueño youth.