With their season just around the corner, the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas aim to claim the championship title one win at a time. In Season 79, the Green Judokas placed third overall, winning two gold medals, one silver, and two bronze medals, while the Lady Judokas fell short of the podium by placing fourth last season, with one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals. In Season 80, the Taft-based teams aim to bounce back with the hopes of concluding this season with a better standing than the last.
When asked about the team’s preparations for the upcoming season, team captains Michael Borja and Christine Valencia share that their regular training schedule started quite late in the year. “Nag-start kami mag-regular training ng buong team itong term break lang, bago mag start yung school year,” says Borja.
(The whole team started training regularly over the term break before the school year started.)
He also adds that with a more complete team attendance, they were able to train properly with judo every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while Tuesdays and Thursdays were spent for conditioning.
Preparing for the season is never easy and Valencia claims that time management was a difficult factor to tackle as a student-athlete preparing for the season, “Time management, I guess ito naman palagi nagiging difficulty ng student-athletes,” Valencia says.
(Time management, I guess this is always a difficulty student-athletes face.)
Along with this, the athletes had to focus on the challenge of cutting and maintaining weight. “Always siya nagiging difficulty for us. Monitoring ang ginagawa namin as captains, checking every after training and doing more sets of cardio para makatulong sa kanila.”
With less than a month remaining for the team’s preparations, both the Green and Lady Judokas have already established the things that they need to improve upon. In addition, Borja shares that attendance was a key factor that they needed to become better at if they wanted to succeed as a unit, “Hindi sila istorbo pero yung flow, hindi dirediretso unlike if same yung experiences niyo, maraming nagagawa na sa training.”
(They’re not a disturbance but as for the flow, it’s not continuous unlike if we have the same experiences, we can do a lot more in training.)
Borja also explains that while it is not really a bad thing, the only issue this year was most of the athletes chose to focus on academics first so training was not really a priority for some members of the team, “Medyo bago yung iba and nag focus sila sa academics so matagal kami nag-start mag-training for this season.”
(Some of the athletes are new and they chose to focus on academics first which is why we started our training late this season.)
Recharged to redeem
Despite being undermanned for Season 80, head coach Sam Bernales believes that they are well prepared and ready to make up for the previous season, “I expect sa kanila na bawat isa sa kanila mag-perform and pinupush ko sila na talagang mag-gold kasi this is their time na mag-gold,” says Bernales.
(I expect that each one of them would perform, and I really push them to get the gold because this is their time to claim the gold.)
Valencia also expects that each of her teammates will continuously push each other in training and that each of them will get their goal weights in time for the weigh-in. “Individual medals for each of us so we could land a spot in the podium again,” says the captain.
For Borja, he expects the team to perform to the best of their abilities as DLSU is represented in every category, across all weights. Ultimately, Bernales expresses his confidence in each and every one of his players, as he states, “Sabi ko, I’m not after the result, [what] I am after is yung kakayanan nila kasi naniniwala ako na they can perform better now compared to the previous UAAP.”
(I said, I’m not after the result, what I’m after is their capability because I believe they can perform better now compared to the previous UAAP.)
The DLSU Green and Lady Judokas are all set to hit the mats on November 11 and 12, at the De La Salle Santiago Zobel Sports Pavilion.