Last season, the DLSU Green Tankers, together with the DLSU Lady Tankers, finished fourth and third, respectively. This time around, the teams are spearheading campaigns not just to reclaim their respective championships, but also the General Championship that was lost to UST.
Season 77 saw swimming powerhouses ADMU, UP, and UST take control of the tournament while DLSU found themselves struggling against the seasoned veterans of their fellow universities. The Green Tankers concluded last season with one gold medal, five silver medals, and four bronze medals. On the other hand, the Lady Tankers took third with one gold medal and three bronze medals.
Back to the drawing board
According to their assistant coach, Maxim Quilala, their preparations for the upcoming season have been progressing quite well. “Although there have been a few mishaps and bumps along the way,” he quickly adds.
Quilala also talks about the team’s adjustment coming into this season. Because of the difference between their high school and current coaching staff, the newly recruited tankers needed to adjust to their new training program. “I think they’ve adjusted well naman. Although, in my opinion, it’s kind of late. They’ve been adjusting and the team has accepted all the new, especially the new swimmers, they have accepted yung seniors and vice versa.”
The team, as determined as always, has created a mindset towards being confident. Quilala explains how the coaching staff wants the team to forget about what happened last season, “We want them to focus on this year–what they can do and what they can achieve, especially, ayaw namin ma-feel nila na sayang efforts nila during training.”
Quilala explains how communication and confidence between the coaching staff and the swimmers goes both ways, “[Dapat] maging confident sila sa sarili nila kasi we believe na pag hindi sila naniniwala na kaya nila, bago pa sila tumayo sa starting block, talo na sila.”
Meetings and partings
Both the Green Tankers and Lady Tankers will be entering Season 78 without their senior and breaststroke specialist Kito Zialcita, who chipped in a handful of points last season. However, coming into his second UAAP season will be Red Silvestre who has established the record for the Men’s 200 Free Relay record with a time of 1:41.10 together with Joey Pronove, Pierce Beltran, and Miggy Narciso.
In addition, new recruits have come in to cover for the losses in their team. “We’ve acquired yung ilan sa mga top swimmers nung this year’s Palaro[ng Pambansa]. So overall, I think we’ve compensated for what we’ve lost,” Quilala says, “Pero siyempre, it’s not really the same kasi they didn’t fill in yung same spots as yung mga nawala.”
Going all out towards improvement
Coach Quilala is confident that both teams will definitely improve their performance this year. He says that the development he sees for this season will be bigger than last year since the previous season presented the team with various incidents that hindered them from reaching their goal.
The Green and Lady Tankers are ready. Their mixture of young and veteran swimmers will make them both a rejuvenated and eager squad this season. With enough adjustments and rigorous training, chances are high for the Taft-based squad.
“We’ll be as close as ever. We’ll be fighting, especially to maintain what we can maintain and improve on what we can improve. Basically, we keep telling them to go all out kasi kailangan talaga naming bumawi this year,” Quilala concludes.