Second semester sports events are on their way to the lime light of the 75th season of the UAAP, and DLSU is betting on each sport to tighten its bid for the institution’s first General Championship (GC).
Each Green-and-White squad has set high expectations for the upcoming competitions, and most are optimistic. Two defending champions, Lady Spikers and the Green Tennisters, are set to defend their crowns in the second half of the UAAP.
The pressure is on for the teams to deliver much-needed points to maintain DLSU’s lead on the GC as the burden of the first half teams has been passed on the second half teams and their captains.
A reason to fight
The Lady Softbelles and Green Batters are optimistic on improving their records this season after an early exit by the softball team and a third place podium finish by the baseball team last season.
“We placed 3rd last year, for us to win it all, we must prepare as they say luck favors the prepared, and as long as we are above UST in the standings, I, the team and the DLSU sports community are happy even if we do not get first” said Batters Captain Jay Laurel as he expressed his excitement and his thoughts on the upcoming second half.
This season stands to be a memorable season for the Green-and-White if the teams manage to bring home the GC.
“Now that the second half UAAP is near, we are doing more specific drills in training so we’ll be prepared for the game; this is important because we have a lot of new guys in the team, and we must make them think and act like the veterans,” added Laurel.
Time to peak
The second half sports team captains are pushing their teams beyond their limit. For the DLSU Tracksters, this season is their time to beat expectations.
“The trainings that we loaded for the past months are paying off now. What we have now is what we’ll show. We gonna get our peak in the UAAP for sure,” said Green Tracksters Captain Ico Ejercito.
With perennial track and field powerhouses FEU and UST hoping to reign supreme on the oval again, the Green Tracksters are in for a battle.
“I always remind the team to stay focused in everything that they do, we will be okay in the track come game time,” Ejercito affirmed.
Set to kick off
Last season, the DLSU Lady Booters placed second in the UAAP women’s football tourney next to defending champion UST.
With a lineup of rookies and juniors, the Hans Smit-mentored ladies are looking for a repeat of their Cinderella season last year where the team barged into the finals after a rough start. The team has prepared for the tournament this year and wants to solidy its contribution to the GC.
The team’s male counterpart is also looking to make a strong finish in the field.
“It will be a long journey and a hard one, but I believe that the boys can do it, this is not just only for football, but also for the GC as well,” assured Head Coach Hans Smit.
Returning to the helm of the Green-and-White are veterans Don Rabaya, Carl Amisola and Patrick Deito.
Looking to retain the crown
The Green Tennisters caused an upset last season as the team beat perennial contenders and eventually won the crown. This year, the team is looking to defend its title. The team’s female counterpart is also seeking a podium finish despite having a series of title contentions against other schools last season.
“Mahirap ang training and nakakapagod, but in the end, it is us who will benefit and the outcomes will be spectacular and para din ito sa overall championship,” said Veteran Ernesto Pantua.
Last year’s fourth placer and champion, the Green and Lady Woodpushers respectively, are also aiming for the top. Both teams are also eyeing the GC.
“We train everyday to improve. In chess, one move can decide the game, so dapat talaga focused,” said men’s Team Captain Franz Grafil.
The GC has become the goal for many DLSU athletes, and the chess teams believe that they can help solidify DLSU’s lead by beating UST in their matchup games.
“Basta we are above UST, we are safe. The chess team in general will do its best to stop UST from beating us like it did years back, this time, we will and must be above them,” said Grafil.
Fencers on track
Last season’s tournament fourth placers and bridesmaids, the Green and Lady Fencers, are now on track for a fresh season.
Both squads are set to top the mats on December 11-14. The Lady Fencers are set to steal the crown from last year’s champion, the UE Lady Warriors, with the efforts of last season’s Rookie of the Year Nadine Licono. The Green Fencers, meanwhile, is trying to inch closer to the podium after the team’s finish last season.
Dynasty in the making
Green and Lady Spikers are ready for war as each team has set its own goals for the season.
The Green Spikers will again look to repeat and book a seat into the Final Four despite foreseen hard matches against FEU and UST. The team, however, is confident that all of the team’s training will pay off and that in the end, the Green Spikers will topple UST in the standings on the race for the general title.
On the other side, defending champion, the DLSU Lady Spikers is on its way to a third straight championship. With the loss of fresh graduate Veteran Cha Cruz, the Lady Spikers will now rely on key veterans Abigail Marano, Michelle Gumabao, and Mika Esperanza to lead the team.
One last Animo push
As the second half teams prepare for an intense bout, the Lasallian community can only wait for the start of the second half of the season.