An established brand of excellence comes along with donning the Green-and-White colors. Varsity programs of different La Salle high schools—including De La Salle Santiago Zobel, La Salle Greenhills, De La Salle Lipa, and University of Saint La Salle among others—produce top-notch athletes that compete at the highest level.
In the university setting, DLSU is no exception. The two previous UAAP General Championships have come home to Taft Avenue. Excellent Lasallian high school sports programs have molded a modest number of athletes responsible for the outstanding sporting achievements of the University.
This month, The LaSallian highlights three star athletes from DLSZ who have made their mark in the collegiate level of the UAAP.
Swinging it home from Alabang to Taft
For Carlos Alberto Muñoz of the DLSU Green Batters, remaining a Lasallian was a crystal clear choice despite many career paths that had been laid out for him. The reigning UAAP Best Hitter was a coveted standout coming from the dominant baseball program of DLSZ. A national team mainstay, Muñoz helped the Green Batters make noise in UAAP 76 where they eventually placed second after failing to qualify in the top four in the season before.
Upon graduating from high school, the 20-year old Muñoz weighed his options for a collegiate career. The doors to top baseball schools abroad were open while collegiate teams from España and Katipunan were in pursuit to recruit Muñoz. The Finance Major, however, stuck to his roots and stayed with the Green-and-White, elevating the Green Batters’ arsenal.
“I was pretty much set on DLSU already even before I needed to decide since my dad is very pro-La Salle,” Muñoz explains.
Now on his fourth year with the team, his team has the best shot that it has had in years. Splitting his time as a pitcher and an outfielder, the slugger did not only lead the league in batting averages but was also tied for most number of bases stolen.
“This year looks to be very promising and anything short of a championship will again be a huge disappointment,” shares Muñoz.
Diving into the collegiate level
Choosing DLSU was a no-brainer for Lady Tanker Ruth Manlongat. The second year Lady Tanker had a decorated high school career, bagging the Rookie of the Year award in her first year and the Athlete of the Year honor during her senior year. “When I was in high school, my swimming career was full of fun, competition and victories. All throughout my stay, I made sure to give my best in all of my competitions,” says Manlongat.
Coming out of high school, Manlongat quickly jumped in and grabbed the opportunity to swim for the Taft-based tankers. When asked about having DLSU as a first choice, Manlongat shares, “Coming from a Lasallian school (DLSZ) was a big factor in choosing a university. I chose La Salle because I know what La Salle can offer especially for student-athletes like me.”
Now a sophomore, Manlongat is adjusting well to the college environment. Together with her teammates, the former high school Athlete of the Year trains hard in preparation for the incoming UAAP season. “Although the training is hard, having a team who has the same goal as I [do] makes training fun. I’m blessed to have a captain and teammates who would always motivate and push me to do better in my events,” says Manlongat.
Being passionate is an understatement when it comes to Green Booter Noel Brago and his love for football. The second year player also from DLSZ proved more than enough that he is willing and qualified to continue his football career in the college level.
“My training in high school helped me develop the skills and pushed me to strive to be better. I care deeply about what I do and put a lot of time and energy into the training and each game played,” the Green Booter mentions.
After graduating from high school, the Green Booter was determined to make it to DLSU’s team and would not settle for anything less. When Brago was asked if he was ever considering a different route for college, he confidently replied, “It’s only for DLSU that I want to play for and contribute to winning.”
Like any other football player, Brago gets his inspiration in playing from football greats, and it just so happens that his idol is one familiar face for DLSU football fans. “It inspires me looking at the career path of Patrick Deyto who is also a product of the DLSZ football program and also a DLSU graduate,” Brago explains.
Just like his idol, Brago plans to continue to be motivated and give his best in every game that he plays and he eventually wants to land a spot on the national team. With his love for the game, Brago certainly has a bright future in football. This season, he will be suiting up once again for the Green Booters and will be settling for no less than gold.
Homegrown talents such as Carlos Alberto Muñoz, Ruth Manlongat, and Noel Brago continue to excel and bring pride to the Lasallian community. Their decision to remain with the La Salle sports program has had a tremendous impact as they will be heavily relied upon in the upcoming UAAP season. A third straight General Championship is well within reach with these three dedicated athletes together with the rest of the University’s homegrown players at hand.