Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu athletic director Rico Navarro announced the transfer of its boys team captain Leo Maquiling to the Ateneo de Manila University and the transfer of girls team regular Yoojin Kim to the University of the Philippines women’s team.
Both started their football careers in Ateneo earning numerous titles in the Aboitiz Cup and local festivals as well as in the step-ladder meet of the Department of Education meets.
Maquiling, who has also seen action for the national youth teams, has been heavily recruited since seeing action in the Palarong Pambansa as an elementary footballer but was never tempted to jump ship. During the 2018-2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. campaign, he led the Magis Eagles to the title after scoring a late free kick over the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
“Leo was already in the eyes of the ADMU coaches since his grade school days. He was scouted in the palaro tournaments both in his grade school and high school levels as well as during his stint in the national
youth team,” said Bob Manlulo, the football program director of ADMU. “As expected, Leo will play a big role in orchestrating the attacking system of the team. His experience and talent will definitely help the team defend its crown for the upcoming UAAP season 83.”
On the other hand, coach Jay Pee Merida hopes to utilize Maquiling’s talent to the fullest.
“He is also a unitily player and he can play the midfield, winger and striker,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kim is excited to start the next chapter of her career and credits the school for her skills.
“All the practices and tournaments taught me a lot of lessons that are also applicable in life. I learned to be patient and hard working. My skills now were not there when I started, I had to work really hard for it. I also learned that you don’t have to be blood-related to be family,” she said.
Kim vowed to help contribute to the UP women’s team success in any way.
“I will take this opportunity to grow for the team and enhance my skills for the team. I’ll make sure that I won’t fall behind and not trouble my coaches and teammates,” she said.
For his part, Navarro is proud of the two players.
“Leo has been a loyal soldier since Kinder 2 and was never lured to move to transfer despite all the offers. Yoojin Kim is the same. Both learned how to play in SHS-Ateneo. I’m so proud of these guys,” he said.