Another championship quest begins for the Green and Lady Tankers as a new season in the UAAP kicks off this October. DLSU claimed podium finishes during the last UAAP Season 78 Swimming Competition, with the Green Tankers ending their campaign in second place, and the Lady Tankers landing in third, garnering 286 and 177 points, respectively. They trailed behind rivals Ateneo, who dominated the competition.
The Tankers made sure they are fully equipped this season by training twice or even thrice a day, with hopes of finally beating their archrival, the ADMU Blue Eagles, who bagged a rare championship sweep last season for both the men’s and women’s divisions.
When asked whether there were any significant lineup changes this season from last year, Green Tankers Team Captain Vince Raymundo notes that they did not lose any swimmer to graduation, only adding promising rookies to their roster. With this, he hopes to bank on their strong showing last season, only trailing the dominant Blue Eagles in their quest to capture a championship.
The Green Tankers will rely on last season’s UAAP Rookie of the Year, Arian Neil Puyo, to make an even bigger splash on his sophomore year. Puyo looks to add on to his two gold medals last year, having competed in the ASEAN University Games this year.
Also coming back are 200-Meter Freestyle Relay gold medalists Alfonso Bautista, Troy Espiritu, Red Silvestre, and Miguel Narciso. Their team broke the UAAP record in the same event last season, clocking in at a time of 1:40.56 en route to a podium finish.
Mind over matter
The Tankers are confident coming in this season with the minimal changes in their roster. However, on the other side is a team that’s just as intact as La Salle. The rivalry is set to get hotter as Ateneo’s swimming team has made little to no change in their roster. According to Raymundo, it’s as if it’s only a “repeat” of the previous season, and their hard work in their preparation since the conclusion of Season 78 will be tested.
Their rivals from Katipunan, however, are only a small challenge in their road to the gold. The physical punishment and fatigue swimmers endure are relatively petty compared to the mental abidance that is required from them. Raymundo emphasizes, “The biggest key to winning this season is getting the proper mindset and mental toughness.” He further adds, “We believe that the mind is greater than the body, and no matter how hard you train, if you don’t have the proper mindset to be a champion, you won’t get that championship.”
As the Green and Lady Tankers hope to bring the title back to Taft, it will take a great deal of effort and a winning attitude to surpass a formidable Ateneo team looking to make a repeat of last season. With a slew of rookies and an intact veteran lineup eager to improve their standing, both teams will compete for school pride and glory for the Lasallian community.
Catch the DLSU Tankers in their UAAP Season 79 Championship bid from October 20 to 23 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.