La Salle Athletic League (LSAL) 2011-2012, the annual intercollegiate sports tournament for all Lasallian undergraduate students, has encountered delays and questions amongst the student participants.
Midway through the second term, LSAL basketball, volleyball and futsal games were suspended and rescheduled toting up confusion in the league.
Come third term, some games were indefinitely postponed without a definite resume date for the games; many students were also left without updates on the status of the games.
The participants turned to the LSAL Facebook group, LSAL1112, bombarding the group with questions and complaints.
The LaSallian interviewed the LSAL Commissioner Jio Henares and Special Projects Committee Chairperson Renz Dagala to answer the questions many have been asking.
“Wala kaming jersey last year [during the games and [nung nabigay na yung jersey] yung sizes hindi ok kasi sobrang laki ng binigay sa amin, (We did not have jerseys last year and when we finally received them, the sizes were too big.)” mentioned Patrick Cua, a men’s volleyball player for the College of Business’ BLAZEMIX.
Many students even demanded a refund due to the late distribution, misspelled names and lost jerseys.
LSAL Special Projects Head Dagala explained that they had problems with the supplier, which caused the delay and misprint. He, however, assured that all jerseys have already been made and are ready for pick-up since last year.
“Since last year pa, nagbooth pa kami for pickups ‘yon nga lang hindi nakuha lahat. Pero as of do’n sa funds, sa payments nila, lahat ‘yon napunta dun. Nabayaran namin siya, lahat may napuntahan na tama if ‘yon ang concern…Nagamit talaga ‘yong pera doon sa dapat talagang puntahan (We even established a booth for pickups. The fund from payments was used for the jerseys. We paid for them, and the money was properly
allocated if that is the concern. We really spent the money properly),” he disclosed.
The echoing concern though, is the indefinite postponement of the scheduled games; the volleyball and basketball events were never finished, which came at a disappointment to the players, especially to those vying for the championship in their last year.
“Actually, kaya namin pinaglalaban na matapos yung LSAL kasi we’re trying to defend our crown. Tsaka super nanghihinayang kami kasi this year ‘yong I think best year namin. I mean, the team, sobrang solid and bonded. Sayang lang kasi, (Actually, we fought for LSAL because we wanted to defend our crown. In addition, it really came as a waste because this year is our best year. The team really bonded well. It is a waste),” Rosette Carmine Bautista of ENGMIX exclaims.
“Nag-aalala lang ako sa upper batch na ga-graduate na, na parang it was really unfair for them na hindi natapos yung games. Syempre aalis na sila ng La Salle sayang naman yung binayad nila, sayang naman yung mga pinaghirapan nila. (I was worried for the upper batch who would be graduating; it was really unfair for them because they did not finish the games. They are leaving La Salle, and they paid for the games; their efforts were wasted),” Captain of 66th Eng’s basketball team, Jed Christian Garcia sympathized.
Venue, schedule and rescheduling
Participants of the league did not have a problem with the venue, but rather, many complained about late announcements that allegedly came only a day before the game.
The league’s players were also hoping that the organizers could find backup venues as contingencies when there would be problems in reserving a court at the Enrique Razon Sports Complex.
For the LSAL Executive Committee, the six-day class system came as a major hindrance in scheduling the games.
“Ever since, for the past few years, four day so ‘yon we would have Friday [and] Saturdays are for the games. So this year, medyo nahirapan kami kasi marami ‘yong gumagamit [ng court] it’s not for LSAL lang yung court (This year, we had difficulty because many people were using the courts as the courts are not exclusive to LSAL), there are athletes there are faculties, and orgs, we needed to adjust,” Henares answers.
Another problem is the lost of the Saint Joseph courts, which has hosted other games in the past years, due to the Centennial Building construction.
For the frosh, the CWTS and ROTC requirements during Saturday, have limited their participation in the games.
Teams requesting for rescheduling also added insult to the injury. Many teams appealled for other time slots to fit their team’s schedule so that they could send a sufficient of number of participants per game.
The LSAL committee considered using other courts, but those options required more documentation and stricter processes as mandated by the Office of the Sports Development (OSD), the governing body of LSAL.
OSD opted for the games to be held within DLSU so that they could address emergencies and injuries immediately via the University Clinic and standby ambulance.
Per college format or per batch?
On a brighter note, the transition from the former per-batch per-college format to the more competitive per-college team format earned good feedback.
“Level of competition is higher and kung ginawa ung per batch ng per college baka magkulang ng players ung mga ibang batch, (The level of competition is higher and if we stayed with the per batch scheme, some of the batch teams would lack players),” Cua shared.
Default games have gone down due to this format. Moreover, according to many teams, it has raised the level of competition in the league.
Some, however, prefer allowing students to form their own teams instead of holding it in either a per-college or per-batch basis.
“For me, it is better to have and form your own team rather than be teammates with others who you barely know. One should have the freedom to choose their teammates so that there is already the connection. Thus, teamwork will be formed,” Franchesca Gomendoza (BS ENT), player of COB’s women’s basketball team, recommended.
Test of dedication and coordination
Gomendoza explained that there is lack of communication and coordination among the teams and team heads.
She also mentioned, “a lot of people said that the LSAL system is more organized last year compared to this year, which I think is true.”
The LSAL Executive Committee has a branch that caters to all complaints and inquiries, but the assigned head already graduated and could not attend to his duty.
What’s next for LSAL?
“Ang pinupush namin as of now is matapos muna yung league bago magstart ulit. Kasi diba sayang naman ‘yong effort ng iba, mawawalan ng gana ‘yong mga players and ‘yong credibility ng LSAL mawawala if hindi matapos ‘yong league (We are pushing to finish the league first before we start a new one because efforts would be wasted on the part of the players, and the credibility of LSAL would come into question if the league does not finish.),” LSAL Commissioner Henares shares.
Plans and proposals from the OSD and the LSAL Executive Committee are now being ironed out to improve the next season.
Coordination with the University Student Government and other organizations, and amendments in the rules are also some of the initiatives being discussed.
“First of all I’d like to apologize on behalf of the LSSC, for all the problems that the league encountered this year. I mean, we honestly tried our best to give the students what they wanted, and to serve with the best of our capabilities but problems came along… If ever there will be an LSAL next year we’ll give what we know, and what we experienced this year to the next committee so they’ll learn also,” Henares ends.