Season 80 of the Men’s Baseball tournament ended on a sour note for the Green Batters. The Lasallians ended their campaign losing to the AdU Soaring Falcons in the Finals, 13-6. Although it may seem that this loss is the end of the long road to glory, rookie Angelo Tantuico is just suiting up for the future.
The young outfielder was a key cog in the La Salle line-up all year and provided a good glove Coach Joseph Orillana could trust out in the outfield. One of his biggest hits of the season was an RBI double in Game 2 of the Finals, to chase starting pitcher Lexter Carandang and force AdU to bring in Jerome Yenson in just the third inning. While Adamson would end up winning the game and the title, it was in moments like this when Tantuico showed he was more than ready for the spotlight.
Learning from his teammates
In tournaments like Palarong Pangbansa and the UAAP, every game counts. One mistake could cost your team a chance at winning the title. “I realized that when you make a conscious effort not to mess up, you end up putting more pressure on yourself. I just tried my best not to overthink the situation and enjoy it,” explains Tantuico.
Fresh out of high school, the image of playing in a new team with unfamiliar faces was an intimidating thought for the rookie. Tantuico had been playing in the same team with the same people ever since he was 12. Although, despite the tense atmosphere, the new Green Batter affirmed that the veterans on the team made sure that the rookies were welcomed with open arms.
Despite being a rookie, the Communication Arts major had to step up to the plate early in the season as his teammate, Cholo Dominguez, got injured. Tantuico shared that taking the place of a veteran outfielder in left field was his most challenging task during the season. Getting rid of rookie jitters is no simple task for any athlete, which is why the proper mindset is key to any player’s success in the battlefield.
Tantuico declares, “You could be on the strongest team in terms of talent but if you don’t have the strongest will to win, what good is all the talent?” He adds that one of their team captains, Ignacio Escaño, also known as Iggy, would consistently remind the team to stay hungry.
Continuing the process
Nothing beats the feeling of sharing the same passion and drive to play the sport you love along with a group of talented men. “Everyone on the team has something different to offer,” he exclaims, “And to be competing with them to win the title is really special.”
In spite of the disappointing result of their Finals matchup against the Soaring Falcons, Tantuico took home the Rookie of The Year award for the Men’s Baseball tournament. Tantuico clarifies that this award is definitely something to be proud of, but he wouldn’t say that it’s his main motivation going forward.
La Salle may have fallen short in the previous season, but Tantuico has proven to be a bright spot the team can count on in the seasons to come. He believes that the team will see it through by working hard in training and staying healthy on and off the field.
The primary catalyst for the rookie to keep striving is a collective gain for the team, and not a personal one. “After coming so close to our goal and falling short, it’s the feeling we had as a team after losing in the finals that motivates me the most.” For him, the mantra of staying hungry will always stay the same.