After finishing winless in last year’s campaign, the DLSU Green Tennisters entered Season 79 looking for redemption. While they did not finish in first place, a renewed focus from the entire team led the Green Tennisters all the way to a spot on the podium, finishing in third place.
Due to the UAAP Tennis Tournament only having six teams, La Salle just missed out on a finals berth as only the top two teams of the elimination rounds qualify for a chance at the championship. With that said, however, the team still showed massive improvement that should bode well for upcoming seasons.
Though no one expected the team to finish winless yet again, the Green Tennisters earns the Surprise Team of the Year Award because of how quickly they bounced back from their performance in 2016.
While the results are not exactly surprising to the players involved, it is remarkable to note that a team that was scrambling for answers this time last year is now looking towards next season confidently. Collectively, Season 79 should be looked back at as a success for everyone involved.
Early in the season, team captain Kyle Parpan explained that everyone had their part, saying, “We just want the entire team to reach each’s potential in order for us to win as a team.”
All in all, that is exactly what happened as it was the collective effort of everyone on the team that led to this year’s success. Together, they were all able to use last year’s failure as motivation to continue working hard in every morning training, cardio session, or match under the grueling heat of the afternoon sun. The Green Tennisters wanted to prove to themselves, and to everyone else, that they are much better players than what they showed last year.
Specifically, what changed this year was the consistency that most of the team seemed to play with. Leading the way were Parpan and Betto Orendain, who led the team in individual wins. The former was used by coach Roland Kraut in a multitude of ways, as he served as the team’s X-factor. The latter, on the other hand, played exclusively as a singles player.
Jonah Cano was also a reliable player as he was able to partner up with many different players throughout the season, including his team captain.
Surely, the Green Tennisters will not be satisfied with anything less than a championship next year. While the Green-and-White took an important leap back to relevance in Season 79, its members will look to make an even bigger leap next year, as they seek to get back to the top of the UAAP.