SportsGreen Journal: The Diamante brothers of DLSU Football v.2
Green Journal: The Diamante brothers of DLSU Football v.2

A year after their first Green Journal, the three Diamante brothers of DLSU Football shared their thoughts once again and talked about life in Manila and Davao. Furthermore, eldest brother Gio, who played out his eligibility in 2015, relived his favorite goals from his UAAP career, spoke about how football made a difference in his life, and discussed his marketing communications plan for the La Salle Sports Program. Gelo similarly shared his favorite moments so far from his career, while youngest brother Jed talked about his experiences as a sophomore engineering student-athlete.

Diamante Brothers - Joyce

Gio Diamante (Season 73-77)

What I’ve been up to since our last Green Journal

Well, probably the biggest difference [from last time] there was playing football. I didn’t really have time to play football since the last time I had our journal, I was doing my masters [in marketing communications] and it was almost my campaign [thesis], and so I just finished actually. I really didn’t have time [to play football] since I have work as well, with the schedule [being] 9 am to 6 am. I used to be part of Kaya FC B, but then it was difficult because their training starts at 6 in BGC (Bonifacio Global City), so I had to give that up for a while. Basically, that’s what I’ve been doing.

On being the first Diamante brother to make the jump to Taft

I think it’s really taking the opportunity God gave me… I came from Ateneo De Davao, it’s always been Ateneo all the way. But then, I think it was 2010 when I played for Makati Football Club for the Gothia Cup, then coach Hans talked to me that he wanted to get me. I thought it was an opportunity I had to take for my future and for my family’s future, ‘cause if I stayed in Davao at that time, there wasn’t really any clear future. Of course, I wanted to build something for myself and make my family proud, so being able to study in La Salle with a full scholarship is something I really wanted to take because it does not happen for everyone. I think I’m lucky enough for the chance, so I was smart enough to take that, and so now I’m here. I have all these experiences, I have all these achievements because of being able to play for La Salle.

The favorite moments from my UAAP career
Probably, it’s my goal in the championship game [versus FEU in my last year in 2015]. It was great leaving La Salle with a goal to cap it off. And for me, it was actually one of my best goals. I [also] remember, I would never forget my first two goals [of my UAAP career] against Ateneo [in my freshman year], I think it was our first game in Ateneo, we won 5-1. All the rookies scored, they really stood up and changed La Salle football against its rivals.

On Gelo’s last minute return to the team in the offseason

It was great since we thought he could have done so much last year. It was actually a really big relief that he got the chance to play again because not everybody has that chance. I wish I had a chance, and unfortunately, he got injured recently, right? Good thing he got to come back because I thought with that injury, he was not able to play anymore. I hope that he would take that chance and would leave a mark in his last year with the team.

How football made an impact on my life

Yeah, it’s been a really big impact… It gave me an opportunity to play in La Salle and study with a quality education, and also led me to taking up my masters and finishing it, all because of La Salle. So football led me to choose this school and really make a better future for myself, it’s a really big impact.

What I miss the most from Davao other than family
It’s probably the relaxed life… everything is so slow, the time is so slow, we actually spend the whole day actually doing everything. Here, you barely have time to do anything, so it would really be something provincial players would have to miss from their hometown, since it’s fast paced here, everybody is so stressed out. But then if you go to Davao, that’s why people go to the province, for them to relax. So that’s something that I really miss about Davao.

What it will take for this year’s team to make the playoffs

They didn’t wanna per se die for the ball, they weren’t hungry. But now I can see that coach Hans probably did something to them that woke them up, and they’re actually performing well now. Hopefully, it continues until the final end of the elimination round. Hopefully, they will reach the Final Four.

My masters campaign to support all athletes

My campaign was actually providing more support to the unsung heroes of La Salle, so I really wanted people to not [just focus] on basketball, volleyball, or even football, now that it’s growing. I want them to also support the other teams, especially teams that barely get attention, not that I’m saying they’re not getting attention from OSD (Office of Sports and Development)—they do—but then what I mean is within the Lasallian community, the students, the alumni.

They don’t get the support, when I actually interviewed all of them, they actually all say that they wish they are supported, they are watched, because it would give them more motivation to win. People actually don’t know [that] all teams contribute to the General Championship (GC) tally, and all of them have been working their asses off to win all these three GCs, and hopefully this fourth one already. So it’s really just being able to recognize them, and support them all throughout, because they yearn for it. It would be good if that happens because other schools, actually, the support [is impressive]. I hope the OSD would consider my campaign to really promote the unsung heroes of La Salle.

Gio - Joyce

Gelo Diamante (Season 75 – present)

The favorite moments from my UAAP career so far and my favorite goal
My favorite moment so far would have to be two years ago, when I played with my older brother, Gio, our last two games in the semifinals against Ateneo and the finals against FEU. We played our best in both games. I scored in the semis and my brother scored in the finals, so those were the best games for me in my career so far. I don’t know about my favorite goal, but the best goals I think would be the ones against Ateneo in the semifinals. Both goals last year and in 2015.

What I love the most in Manila

I think Manila had a lot of open doors for me and my brothers. [There are so many] opportunities, we were able to explore and expand our lives. It opened opportunities for us and [gave] us an arena where we had to make decisions for our future.

What I miss the most from Davao other than family

It would have to be the football community in Davao. We have a bunch of good coaches and good players there. They really shaped us to be the players we are now, and of course, the really peaceful place Davao is. It’s really peaceful and it’s really home.

Gelo - Joyce

Jed Diamante (Season 78 – present)

How my brothers also got me to go to La Salle

One of the biggest factors why I chose to go to La Salle [was because] I saw how they were treated here. I saw how the people were to them, I saw how the team was, how the community was, and that really sparked the idea that I wanna be here. That I wanna be taken care of by the people who were taking care of them, and I want to give to the community, like how my brothers were able to give to them through sports. And not only that, but also, I would like to inspire some students, that you can be both a student and an athlete, or you can pursue whatever you want or your dreams while studying.

Dealing with student-athlete life as an engineering major

It’s really a challenge, like we have to balance my time [with the training and playing], especially in final [exams] week. I have finals on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, then we have a game on Sunday. So, I can’t imagine how I could study those long hours [then we have to wake up] in the morning to train. It’s really a challenge, good thing I have my classmates who are really supportive. If I miss some classes, they help me catch up, sometimes they even watch me here [in Rizal Memorial] in the games to show that they’re not just my friends inside the classroom, but also outside. It’s just been really an experience.

Jed Diamante - Joyce

On no longer being a rookie in the team

Well the team just keeps pushing me to become better, moving up in the year levels doesn’t mean that [we have bigger responsibility] over the younger ones, [we’re still equal]. We all have to contribute to help the team win, actually now in the team, it’s more of a brotherhood. [It doesn’t matter much] if you’re a rookie, you’re a senior, or [it doesn’t mean] if you’re a rookie, you can’t tell a senior what’s wrong, or you can’t give a suggestion. [We’re equal], so we’re trying to uphold that kind of culture right now.

What I love the most from Manila

Now that I’m with my brothers, [we normally spend time with each other] here. We’ve learned how to become more independent, more responsible, especially [with all the things we have to accomplish]. That empowers us, empowers me to become a better person, so that’s what I love. It helps me grow as a person.

What I miss the most from Davao other than family

It’s more of the comfort—it’s my comfort zone. Like you can do a lot of things in the day, [the] pace of life [is not too fast], and really, the food. Here, we don’t really have time to cook so most of the time, [we just eat] fast food. [But what I really miss] is the comfort of the family.