Just a few weeks before the Fencing tournament of the UAAP begins, the DLSU Fencers are armed and ready for battle, with both teams looking to improve on their Season 78 runs. The Green Fencers and Lady Fencers finished last season at fifth and third place, respectively. Meanwhile, the UE Red Warriors and Lady Warriors are out to win their fifth and ninth consecutive championships, respectively. The LaSallian had the chance to hear from May Montenegro, the team captain of the Lady Fencers, about the team’s preparations and thoughts coming into Season 79.
Montenegro initially opted to skip her fifth playing year after already attaining her undergraduate degree. Disappointed with last year’s results and driven her passion for the sport, she explains, “I still felt that my job isn’t done and that I wanted to really give back to my second family, this fencing family, for opening doors of opportunities for me. The only way I know how to pay it forward is to play one more season.”
Stepping up for gold
Bagging mostly bronze medals last season, team captain Montenegro acknowledges that there is room for improvement for the team. With that in mind, the priority of going into this season’s tournament is staying focused and improving on last year’s results. “We apply to the best of our abilities to continuously improve on our individual and overall performance. Most times we review and share our plays,” Montenegro explains.
Another factor to be recognized for the team’s preparations for gold this season is new experience brought on by their coaches. Coach Ramil Endriano for foil and Almario Vizcanyo for epeę were involved with the national team and will bring invaluable insights to the Green-and-White.
Losses and additions
The Green Fencers lost three team members to graduation while the Lady Fencers lost two of their own. The women’s team will be without Geraldine Tianzon and Mikaela Castilo. On the other hand, the men’s team will no longer have the services of Rayd Orozco, Francois Licono, and Gian Franco Rodriguez, all of whom bagged bronze for last year’s Team Epee event.
While losing a number of veterans was a blow to the team, the La Salle Community can look forward to seeing new faces. The rookies for this season hail from FEU-FERN. David Lumahan and Hadj Satinitigan will be debuting for the Men’s Sabre and Epee Team events, respectively.
Key ingredients for success
The Lasallian Fencers dedicate themselves, train hard, and even make sacrifices for the love of their sport. After attending classes in Taft, the fencers commute to Philsports (ULTRA), Pasig for their training. Despite all odds, Montenegro attributes two main ingredients for success, “Self-discipline and trust.”
“Self-discipline because no matter how talented you are, [if] you aren’t productive because you don’t have the right mindset, it will get you nowhere. But if you have the right discipline, it will increase the potency of that talent tenfold,” Montenegro stresses her point. The team captain concludes, saying, “Trust. You have to have trust in yourself that you, your coaches, and your team can do great things.”
La Salle will open its fencing season tomorrow, February 8, at 9 am at the UST Gym in España, Manila.