De La Salle nipped fierce rival Ateneo, 2-1, to seize solo second at the end of first round action in the UAAP Season 81 men’s football tournament Thursday at the FEU-Diliman pitch.
Alfonso Montelibano scored twice while goalkeeper Gab Villacin delivered a late save as the Green Archers rose to 12 points.
Earlier, Allen Lozano netted a brace in Adamson University’s 2-1 squeaker over defending champion University of the Philippines to earn its first full points of the season.
De La Salle is now three off Far Eastern University, which topped the first round with 15 points.
Montelibano found the back of the net from a Shanden Vergara assist in the 13th minute and helped the Archers double their lead with a header off a Jed Diamante free kick 11 minutes later.
The Blue Eagles pulled one back courtesy of a Rupert Baña header off a Andreas Maniquis set piece in the 26th minute. Baña has tied National University’s Ivan Ouano for the most number of goals this season with five.
Villacin then foiled Joaquin Roque’s potential match-tying header in the 89th minute.
Ateneo remained level with University of Santo Tomas in third place with 10 points.
The Fighting Maroons, who were without six starters due to their national U23 team duties, dropped at seven points alongside the Falcons and University of the East.
In women’s play at Circulo Verde pitch Wednesday, rookie Shai Del Campo netted four goals while Maye Mendaño was also on target as De La Salle fashioned out a comprehensive 5-1 win over FEU to finish the top of the first round table with 10 points
Ma. Pamela Denise Diaz struck in the 26th minute as Ateneo earned its first full points following a 1-0 conquest of UP.