Defending champions Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) and the University of San Carlos (USC) started their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. football defense with similar 2-1 wins over their opening day foes at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) last Nov, 5. 2022.
USC, which is seeking a five-peat and a record-tying ninth title, bucked a slow start to beat a game University of Southern Philippines (USPF), 2-1, in the collegiate division, while DBTC foiled a comeback by USC to win via the same score.
John Kenneth Olegario stunned the defending champions with a third-minute goal for USPF, a three-time losing finalist to USC in previous editions. USC found the equalizer 15 minutes into the second half courtesy of John Cyril Sinoy before Jeff Labus got the go-ahead goal four minutes from time.
In the other collegiate match, USJ-R, which is seeking its first title since 2013, leaned on Mark Iann Vergara to beat the University of Cebu, 2-1. UC got the lead in the fifth minute thanks to Glen Geralde before Vergara struck in the 21st and 25th minutes for USJ-R, which still holds the most number of titles at nine.
On the other hand, John Carlos Vitualla scored in the 42nd and 50th minutes for a comfortable 2-0 lead before USC’s Floyd Ouano got one back in the 65th in the high school division.
Former champion Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu also opened its campaign with a win, 2-0, against USJ-R with late goals from Christopher Candingo and Wayne Almendras.
On Sunday, Nov. 13, USC will gun for its second win against USJ-R, while USPF will face UC in the college division. DBTC will take on 2019 finalist USJ-R, while Ateneo faces USC in the high school division.
This year’s tournament follows the double round robin format with the top two advancing to the finals. However, a team that wins all its matches will automatically be crowned champions.