The UST Golden Booters face a challenging semifinal matchup against the UP Fighting Maroons, a team they lost to in both matches during the elimination round.

The Golden Booters are entering the semifinals as the third seed with a 6-4-2 record, while their opponents, the UP Fighting Maroons, finished the elimination round with a 9-3-0 record, only behind top-seeded Ateneo’s 9-2-1 record.

UP defeated UST twice during the season, with scores of 2-1 and 4-0 in their season opener and ender, respectively. During UST’s final game against UP, head coach Marjo Allado opted to utilize his reserves and rest his starters to avoid any eligibility issues heading into the semifinals.

However, the Golden Booters will enter the semifinals with momentum, having won five of their last six matches.

This season, they notched their best record since Season 80 in 2018 when they last reached the finals. In the Final Four, they will face the UP Fighting Maroons, the team that denied them the title during their last finals appearance.

Allado noted that the Golden Booters’ performance in the second round has given them a confidence boost to raise their game in the Final Four.

UST will rely heavily on TJ Garciano, their top scorer with seven goals, as well as Chris Valderrama and Kyler Escobar, who each contributed five goals during the eliminations.

“It’s not an easy game but I believe my players are capable of getting another win in the semifinals,” said Allado. “Their performance in the second round is superb. They can score goals in matches without relying on one or two players only.”

“UP is a strong team. It stretches opponents to initiate its attack and always does that in all matches. It has good forwards too that could create havoc for every defense.”

The UST Golden Booters will face the Fighting Maroons in their Final Four match on May 9, Thursday, at 7 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.