Lasallian athletes will once again represent the country in its quest for the over-all championship in the forthcoming 26th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) this November, at Jakatra-Palembeng, Indonesia.
The eleven countries in Southeast Asian will participate in the games, with 42 disciplines to be participated by the Philippines. Athletes from the Green-and-White squads will battle it out against Southeast Asia’s finest for the SEAG supremacy.
Among the chosen DLSU elites are Shuttlers Danica San Ignacio and Ronel Estanislao, who will boost the RP Badminton squad’s chances of bagging its first SEAG medal against contenders Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Lady Tankers Heish Laviña and Thea Alcantara will join the National Women’s Water Polo delegation in its aim for another medal to match its 2009 SEAG silver medal. Green Tankers’ swimming ace Johansen Aguilar will also provide extra push for the RP Swimming team in the international waters.
Shuttlers fit in the RP squad
Estanislao and San Ignacio clinched top spots in the recent Philippine National Game (PNG) last May to qualify for the Philippine SEAG delegation. Both topped their respective Singles and Doubles matches in the PNG Open division.
San Ignacio rated the pressure in the UAAP games at eight and a perfect 10 for the SEAG. It will also be her first international stint, while teammate Estanislao is already a seasoned international campaigner.
DLSU Shuttlers’ Head Coach Owen Lopez assurea that the coaching staff and the whole Shuttlers will give their full support for San Ignacio and Estanislao. Lopez also sees this opportunity not just for Estanislao and San Ignacio, but also for their teammates.
For him, the two can inspire the team to strive harder. He also pointed out that seeing international calibre contests will boost up both Shuttlers for the next UAAP season.
Tankers preparing for bigger waves
Laviña and Alcantara used their swimming expertise to get a crack in the Water Polo National team try-outs last year. Both Lady Tankers got to prove their wares in the foreign waters with a third place finish in the 6th Betawi Cup held in Indonesia, where the team sealed a spot in the upcoming SEAG.
Johansen Aguilar, the sole Green Tanker to breach the nearing international tiff, clocked an impressive record in the backstroke event last July. Being a Philippine National Junior team member since the age of 11, he was overjoyed when he became a member of the Philippine National team.
Upon the confirmation of their SEAG stint, Laviña was in awe since it was her childhood dream to represent the country. As for Alcantara, she immediately felt the pressure because and high expectations since their counterparts, the Men’s Water Polo team, has been ranking internationally for years.
Aguilar, on the opposite end, is well aware of the pressure of representing the nation. She desires to win and to hoist the pride of Filipinos. More so, they are also challenged to best Southeast Asia’s olympians.
Training for the SEAG is definitely more difficult because of tougher workouts and a spirited atmosphere from fellow national team swimmers.
For the Women’s Water Polo training regime, Laviña and Alcantara also shares that if they miss two consecutive training days, they are automatically out of the team.
Both Lady Tankers add that making it to the national team and representing the country is already a big incentive for them. “[These are] opportunities that can change your life and experiences that will make you tougher,” Laviña says.
As these Lasallian sportsmen get into the thick of things, expect them to prove again the Animo in the SEAG sports arena. “Expect that I would give all my best. I would never give up because quitting is forever and you can’t change that,” Laviña promises.
“They can expect me to prepare and train hard, and give it my best for the glory of God and give pride to DLSU and the Philippines as well”, Aguilar ends.
Other possible Lasallian athletes who will join the venture of bringing home pride and glory to the Philippines are Lady Tankers Ayee Quilala and Berny Galang for Water Polo, Lady Jin Jyra Lizardo for Taekwondo, and Football delegation prospects Green Booters Patrick Deyto and Miguel Montelibano.