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Tams blast defending champion Eagles

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Nov 28th 2013

The Tamaraws spoiled defending champion Ateneo de Manila University's debut with a 3-0 win while surprise co-leader UE nipped La Salle, 2-1.

Far Eastern University (FEU) rode on ace striker Jess Meliza’s brace on Tuesday to notch its second straight victory and join surprise co-leader University of the East (UE) atop the 76th UAAP men’s football standings.

The Tamaraws methodically ripped defending champion Ateneo de Manila University, 3-0, in the opening game even as the Warriors nipped De La Salle University, 2-1, to wrap up the day’s triple-header at the FEU Diliman field.

Meliza, last year’s top scorer, flashed his old brilliance with a quick goal in the fifth minute to put the Tamaraws ahead, 1-0, before the Eagles sat back on defense three-fourths of the way.

But the spitfirish Meliza was not yet over, punishing Ateneo’ sporadic defense anew with a nifty flick off goalkeeper Yu Muruyama in the 71st minute to give FEU a commanding 2-0 lead.

He then fed a streaking Nicolo Ferrer upfront to nail FEU’s third goal in the 79th minute.

Defensively, the Eagles were only a shadow of last season’s championship-caliber team after losing MVP and Best Goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell, as well as veterans Val Calvo and Jico Noel, who missed the cut due to academic problems.

In the second game, University of Santo Tomas settled for a 1-1 draw with National University.