With only a few weeks left before the 79th season of the UAAP kicks off, it won’t be long until the DLSU Lady Archers begin their quest to redeem themselves from their heartbreaking defeat to the Ateneo Lady Eagles in the Final Four. After losing key players like Alyanna Ong, Ara Abaca, and Fretzie Oyao, the team will be needing this year’s holdovers to step up for this upcoming tournament.
Incoming senior Snow Peñaranda is one of the veterans eager to lead the team in their quest for redemption. Now the first option in the forward slots, the second year Sports Management major is looking to make an even bigger contribution this season.
Basketball as the family sport
Peñaranda began playing basketball when she was as young as seven years old, and was influenced by her family, all of whom had a heightened appreciation towards the sport. Being an ambitious kid, she has had this lifelong dream to make it to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
“Simula sa lolo ko, hanggang sa father ko, titos ko, and mga cousins ko lahat nagbabasketball and marunong magbasketball; maski mga titas ko marunong sila,” Peñaranda explains.
During Peñaranda’s elementary days in Tondo, she was being recruited to play volleyball. However, she declined the invitation due to her coaches and because of her love for basketball. The aspiring athlete was then recruited to play for Torres High School for her secondary schooling.
“Lumaki ako sa court. Pag gising ko is basketball agad yung nasa isip ko, hanggang sa umuwi ako pag gabi basketball pa din,” she says when asked about that time in her life.
Before she played for DLSU, the versatile forward spent time in Adamson University, where she played for three years. It was only until she had personal problems with her coaches that she ended her stay with the Lady Falcons. Fortunately for Peñaranda, she was able to transfer to the Lady Archers with the help of her uncle, who recommended her to La Salle’s coaching staff.
“First public lang ako, so hindi ko expected na makakapasok ako sa mga school na private. Itong La Salle wala siya sa isip ko na makakapasok ako. Dream lang siya, sabi ko sana makapasok ako kahit one term lang. Ma-try ko lang kung paano ba mag-aral sa La Salle, kung paano ba mag-laro sa La Salle,” Peñaranda shares.
Goals for the season
Now in her final year of UAAP eligibility, Peñaranda looks to make the most out of her remaining time in the college ranks. The good thing is that there is plenty for her to do in the upcoming season, as she was thrust into a bigger role with the team.
“Role ko is maging leader dahil isa na rin ako sa mga beterano. Kailangan ko sila ma-influence at i-push sa training,” says the hard-nosed player, who adds that she challenges her teammates to better themselves not only in training but also in the classroom.
In terms of team camaraderie, she prefers that the squad remains a happy bunch during the season. She treats all her teammates as equals, regardless whether or not they have a lot of playing time. For her, chemistry is the most important aspect that she wants to maintain within the Lady Archers.
On to the future
With her mother as inspiration, the veteran forward looks to finish college and earn her degree once the season ends. Afterwards, she plans on training and working on her skills even more so that she can be recognized by the national team, which is also one of her ultimate goals as an athlete. However, besides honing her talents, there is one thing she hopes to improve as she moves on with life.
“Yung attitude ko. Yun yung laging sinasabi sa amin ni Coach Cholo [Villanueva], maging better yung attitude mo may nagbabantay man o wala,” she says.