Rookie Fidel Tacardon netted a hat trick in the first half as league-leading University of the Philippines overpowered winless Adamson, 5-1, in the UAAP Season 80 men's football tournament at the Rizal Stadium.
Tacardon, who now has five goals in the season, led the Maroons in taking a 4-0 lead right in the first half. UP never looked back to maintain their unbeaten run and keep their spot at the top of the bale with 32 points from 10 wins and two draws.
"Even before his first UAAP game, I think the expectations for him to deliver were tremendous. He has been delivering so far. He has been creating scoring opportunities for us. Not just scoring himself, but also creating," said UP coach Anto Gonzales on his prized rookie.
Earlier, reigning MVP Jarvey Gayoso netted a brace as men's titleholder Ateneo joined UP in the semifinals with a 4-0 victory over University of the East.
Maintaining a clean sheet for the fifth straight match in the second round, the Blue Eagles rose to 28 points, four off the Fighting Maroons.
Now with a league-best 15 goals in the season, Gayoso struck in the 18th minute and added another one in first-half stoppage time for Ateneo.
Rupert Baña and Sam Lim also entered the scoresheet in the second half for the Eagles.
The Red Warriors remained at 13 points.