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Gayoso lifts Ateneo XI to UAAP men’s crown

Jarvey Gayoso capitalized on a defensive howler in the first half as Ateneo trounced Far Eastern University, 1-0, yesterday to capture the UAAP men’s football crown at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

A weak back pass by FEU’s Paolo Bugas allowed the sophomore striker to score a left-footed volley off goalkeeper Ray Joseph Joyel in the 39th minute, enough to give Ateneo its first title since 2013.

The son of former PBA veteran Jayvee Gayoso was later adjudged as the season’s Most Valuable Player after netting 12 goals during the campaign that enabled Ateneo to bounce back from last season’s loss to University of the Philippines in the finals.

Coached by Jaypee Merida, Ateneo topped the double-round eliminations with 35 points before leaning on Gayoso’s brace to beat University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, in Thursday’s Final Four.

Gayoso was also hailed as Best Striker even as teammate AJ Arcilla took the Best Goalkeeper award, Jayrah Rocha the Best Defender plum and Julian Roxas and Enzo Ceniza joining the Mythical Team.

The triumph also paved way for a grand exit for veteran Carlo Liay, a member of Ateneo’s 2013 championship side.

FEU, which dethroned UP following a similar 2-1 win in the other Final Four match, tried desperately to level the score in the second half but lack of quality chances coupled with Ateneo’s defensive mindset denied the Tamaraws’ bid for a third championship in four seasons.