Undermanned Stallion Laguna wins PFF U-19 boys championship against NCR FA in Talisay City, Cebu as Joaquin Collo hailed as tournament MVP, best midfielder

Stallion Laguna was on a counter-attack when NCR FA team captain Daniel Christensen fouled James Detera inside the box. Stallion team captain Bacchus Ekberg then converted the penalty kick calmly.

“When I took the penalty kick, it was just all calmness in my mind. No stress, no pressure, it happens and it’s part of football. So when there is a chance and if there is opportunity, we have to take it with all confidence,” Ekberg says of his penalty kick to GMA Regional TV News.

Stallion Laguna did not look back and went home with the chip despite losing some of their key players. Jax Peña, Jian Vinz Caraig, Cesar Iñigo Castro, and Alexander Caleb Santos were selected for Philippine Men’s U23 national team for the Asean Football Federation U23 Championship in Rayong, Thailand.

“Despite the struggle of this team, we’re outnumbered but we still survive in this game to get the championship. The opponent is too strong, my players are with the youth national team but we are still here to fight to win the championship,” Stallion Laguna head coach Richard Leyble said.

Collo stepped up big time for the Laguna-based squad and won the most coveted individual award in the tournament and looks forward to get the same award in the next edition of the tournament.

“I was shocked because as a 17-years-old playing in the high league with 19 year olds, I was shocked… I love to play with this team again and I hope to get the same award next year,” Collo shared.

Filipinas team captain Hali Long and goalkeeper Inna Palacios were also in attendance to witness the highly physical match fresh from their World Cup stint in New Zealand.