A student’s final school year in the University is probably the most difficult one that any student could go through. Thesis, practicum, and sleepless nights devoted to studying are a few of the things that Lasallians have to put up with before being rewarded with that hard-earned diploma.
As Lasallians would know, the road to graduation is a rugged one. With less than four months for every trimester, the challenge of handling academic workload is tough, and for student-athletes, the task may just be twice as hard.
However, Green Jin Gerry Del Rosario and Green Spiker Aljun Vincent Bartolome took the demands of college life to a new level by coinciding it with a heavier responsibility of being captains for their respective teams.
Having held the UAAP title for two years, UST was taken by surprise as the DLSU Green Jins ended the Tigers’ dominance, bringing the championship back to Taft. The triumph does not end here though, as the Green Jins thirst for a back-to-back title, a feat that was only attained during the 1998 and 1999 season.
The team captain of the Green Jins, Del Rosario hopes to make this a reality as he tries to end his college taekwondo career on a high note.
The veteran Jin took his talents to UST high school before but decided to shift his colors to the Green-and-White and has not regretted the decision since. His scholarship and desire to play for La Salle played a huge role on his decision to join the Taft-based Jins.
Del Rosario is currently taking a double-degree program consisting of Sports Management and Psychology (SPM-PSM), two liberal arts courses under the LIA-LIA program.
In terms of coping with his studies, the team captain devised a training schedule that would benefit not just him but the entire team as well. Del Rosario wished for morning trainings so that they will be more focused on their studies.
He added, “Para may time [kami] gumawa ng homework or school work sa gabi.” He further explained that this kind of system will be best for his team as academics and training affect the team’s performance. “Drain ka na nun mentally sa school tapos may training ka pa physically after sa gabi. Pag uwi mo pagod ka na at wala ka ng magagawang school work,” Del Rosario shares.
Del Rosario also emphasized that relying heavily on everyone’s shoulders will be the key to winning their back-to-back titles. “Yung attendance and alertness talaga yung kailangan [kaya] pag may pinagawa, mabilis yung results,” said Del Rosario about his expectations to his teammates. When asked if winning back-to-back championships could be achieved, Del Rosario confidently concluded saying, “Kaya.”
One last chance
10 years have passed since the DLSU Green Spikers last enjoyed the luxury of being crowned as champions of the UAAP Men’s Volleyball tournament. It has been a long and weary road to redemption for the boys bannering the Green-and-White. UAAP Season 76 was not so different for the Green Spikers as they bowed out of the competition with a fifth place finish.
Now on the final leg of his journey as a Green Spiker, the current team captain Bartolome aims to end the drought plaguing the Taft-based squad this year.
The outgoing veteran was a product of Lipa Montessori School of Learning in Batangas. Originally a basketball player, Bartolome was introduced to volleyball by the encouragement of his coach. He gave the sport a try and attended volleyball trainings prior to entering college. Fortunately, he was accepted by DLSU as a walk-in recruit and was eventually awarded an athletic scholarship.
Bartolome initially took up Bachelor of Arts in Sports Studies (AB-SPM) but shifted to Civil Engineering (BS-CE) later on. When asked on how he balances his time for both his life as an athlete and as a student, he said that devoting an equal amount of time to playing and studying plays a vital role especially for student-athletes like him. “Sa studies naman, once after training diretso naman ako sa school tapos extra work sa aral,” said the captain regarding his study habits.
As his UAAP years is nearly coming to a close, the graduating captain reflects on the challenges that lie in front of them as well as the collective goal of the team. For a team representing DLSU, an institution that prides itself of its rich legacy in sports, the Green Spikers are under a lot of pressure to deliver. With NU’s dominance, UST’s established supremacy and ADMU’s rising powerhouse capability, Bartolome admitted that the competition has indeed become deeper and more difficult. The squad acknowledged the heavy burden upon them but shared a very optimistic view regarding the team’s potential.
Certain improvements, however, on the part of the Green Spikers would not hurt much as Bartolome stressed that the team has to make leaps especially on its chemistry, communication and unity to keep their title contention chances alive. “Yung kulang kasi namin dati is yung oneness namin. So yun yung ita-try naming i-improve pa rin ngayon at nakikita ko naman na nangyayari na sa umpisa pa lang kahit wala pa kaming masyadong mga liga,” Bartolome explained.
Looking forward, he believes that the team is more than capable of achieving the goals they’ve set going into the coming UAAP volleyball tournament and that is the championship that has been very elusive for almost a decade.
Almost every Lasallian could attest that they had it rough in terms of studies, but the sacrifices done by varsity team captains nearing graduation are one of the many acts that deserve appreciation. Being able to divide their last months in school for the sake of serving their team and the Lasallian community bears witness to how far they have come as student-athletes and now, team captains.