Coming off its competition in China, the DLSU Dragon Boat Team clinched four titles in the 1st Triton-Philippine Collegiate League (PCL) held at Manila Bay last July 1. The Lasallians finished first place in the four small boat competitions, namely 250m Mixed, 250m Open, 500m Mixed, and 500 Open.
In the 250m Mixed, DLSU finished with a cumulative time of 2’24”24 while San Beda College (SBC) and AdU followed suit after clocking in 2’35”29 and 2’48”68, respectively. La Salle concluded the 250m Open event at 2’14”17, a clear 16 seconds ahead of SBC. AdU, on the other hand, finished 18 seconds adrift from the leaders.
The team from Taft clinched another victory in the 500m Open event with a finishing time of 2’10”13 in the first heat and 2’10”21 in the second heat. As a result, the Lasallians earned a cumulative time of 4’20”34, almost 39 seconds clear of their two competitors.
Furthermore, DLSU bagged a 2’18”97 time for the first heat and 2’23”05 for the second heat in the 500m Mixed category, garnering a total time of 4’42”02. San Beda and AdU trailed behind with aggregate times of 5’05”41 and 5’17”00, correspondingly.
Road to success
According to co-captain Jiggy Taccad, rather than competing with their counterparts, they simply focused on competing against themselves and improving on their finishing times. When asked about their preparations, Taccad stated that they carried on their training even after their competitions in Boracay and China.
“With the help of the alumni paddlers, we were guided throughout the preparation and training. Everyday, we really trained hard. Before PCL, three weeks before, we would train five times a week,” he shared.
As noted by Taccad, one of the factors that the team from Taft encountered was competing in a new environment. “A lot of us raced for the first time in Manila Bay and feeling ko, the collegiate league was different also ‘cause we usually join competitions with adult teams.”
Furthermore, he explained, “Since it’s the first time, iba yung feeling with competing with collegiate teams. Naging mataas yung pressure cause the expectation of DLSU is high… Now that there’s an official college league [for dragon boat], we make sure that we give a good fight in the collegiate level.”
Trials and tribulations
The team from Taft not only had to cope with pressure, but also with its lack of experience, according to Taccad. “I guess every collegiate team has a weakness, cause syempre in every team may nag-gagraduate so you need to recruit and train them. So siguro for us, most of our paddlers were new and pang second or third race pa lang nila.”
Nevertheless, the Lasallians worked as one with passion, a factor that Taccad noted to be one of their strengths, to overcome their lack of experience and reach victory on four occasions. He pointed out, “For our team, we don’t row as teammates, but we row as a family.”