Behind every successful sports program lies a group of dedicated individuals that make sure their teams obtain the best training and support they could get as they prepare for the upcoming competitions. While they may end up not getting any recognition for their efforts most of the time, their contributions to the varsity’s overall performance prove to be just as valuable.
In DLSU, the Office of Sports Development (OSD) has been serving this role with utmost importance. To commemorate their service to the University, The LaSallian explored the OSD’s history in the past 20 years, the changes it went through, and what it has in store for Lasallian sports.
Under the direction of Alfonso Alba, an economics professor who served as OSD director in the mid-90s, La Salle was finally able to compete for the General Championship (GC). They placed second to UST several times under his watch, proving that even if the athletes were under-subsidized, they could still compete with the best.
After Alba, Danny Jose took his position as head of the OSD in 1996. During his time, La Salle entered its golden age in basketball. They won four consecutive men’s titles from 1998 to 2001 and four consecutive women’s titles from 1999 to 2002. Other sports such as volleyball and football also enjoyed great success under his watch, with DLSU clinching multiple championships in these sports as well.
Br. Bobby Casingal FSC, formerly a sports consultant, was then appointed to replace Jose in 2005. Unfortunately, his term was mired in controversy due to the ineligibility scandal that broke out at the time. While Casingal was not directly involved with the issue, his administration had to deal with the negative backlash, as well as the suspension handed by the UAAP to DLSU in 2006.
Current De La Salle Zobel President Br. Bernie Oca FSC took the job for a brief time before being replaced by Edwin Reyes as the director in 2007. It was during Reyes’ time that the OSD experienced a major revamp in its organizational structure. This led to several additions in manpower as well as with the services offered for the student-athletes.
The director post is currently held by Emmanuel Calanog, who took over for Reyes in 2012. In his short reign, he has already achieved so much with the office, one of which includes giving La Salle its first ever UAAP GC.
Joy Lanting, a former Lady Softbelle who played from 2002 up to 2007, currently works for the OSD as a tournament coordinator. She shares that the office is really different compared to how it was during her time as a student-athlete.
“Ngayon yung OSD, we have an athletic services coordinator, a tournament coordinator, and an academics coordinator for student-athletes. Activities and services are also different. Mas marami ang natututukan ngayon. During our time, I can’t remember having a series of sessions for team building. I didn’t remember having a team-captain’s leadership training. I also didn’t remember having special orientations for provincial recruits and freshmen,” Lanting mentions.
Alex Depante Jr., a former Green Spiker who suited up from 1995 up to 1999, also has a job within the office, serving as the athletic services coordinator. According to him, the student-athletes of today are very blessed to be in the situation that they are in.
“During our time, magpasalamat ka pag may sapatos ka,” says Depante with a chuckle. He mentions that back then, the athletes had to buy their own equipment and commute to game venues themselves. Media coverage was also scarce on their play dates.
Many of these changes were instituted when Reyes was in position. When he took the job in 2007, he was surprised at how disorganized the organizational structure was in the OSD. Feeling the need to establish order, he introduced a number of revisions and platforms within the office.
“Ang hirap kasi yung staff noon, they’re doing everything. They’re being eaten by the flow of the league. There was order in the best way that they knew how, but now we’re in command, we’re in control of our fate. We can plan and think ahead for everybody. We could strategize, whereas before, they couldn’t do that,” Reyes comments on his work back then.
Present and future
Calanog, the current OSD Director, hopes to build on the work of his predecessors. While he wants to continue their platforms, he hopes he can make his own legacy before he leaves the position.
“At least I hope that part of my legacy would be being able to bring a couple of general championships along the way aside from the legacy of being able to form and develop our athletes into a Lasallian mold. Hopefully along the way I can bring in a couple of general championships, which early on my term, I was able to already. We have two, and hopefully add some more before I leave,” he says.