“Love the sport and it will love you back. That is why internal motivation is really important. No one can hand it to you, and no one can take it away from you either,” says Green Jin Keith Sembrano.
Indeed, it takes a lot of hard work and motivation to excel in a certain sport. Loving a sport is not only just about being naturally good at playing it, but it also requires exerting 100 percent effort, regardless if it’s a neighborhood competition or the finals game in a top-tier league. And that’s only giving your all to one sport. Imagine the amount of attention and work needed if an athlete is tasked to participate in two sporting events.
These athletes give it their all for two different events year in and year out. They share the ups and downs of this daunting task as an athlete playing for two different sports whether it be in the present or their younger days.
From sneakers to cleats
Basketball and football are two sports that are polar opposites of each other. For a student athlete like Niky Scott, who is both a Lady Archer and Lady Booter, she is somehow able to find the best of both worlds in a seemingly impossible scenario.
Shooting hoops was her first love back when she was eight years old. Later on, football came into her life upon reaching second year high school. From there, Scott decided to just pursue one sport so she stuck with football instead.
Hoping to make a great impact in her athletic career as a college student, Scott found herself playing the two sports she was passionate about. The semestral system of the UAAP made it possible for her to focus on one sport at a time, with basketball events being held during the first semester, and football events in the second.
When asked about her preference, she stated that the two sports are incomparable. The only edge for basketball is that it is her first sport. In the end, she feels both sports are equally important to her, as she works and trains hard whether on the hard court or on the open field.
With proper time management and dedication, Scott continues to excel in both sports. It is just a matter of how an athlete works hard in every game; something a dual sport athlete like Scott is definitely capable of.
All about footwork
Taekwondo and basketball are the two sports Sembrano is passionate about. Learning Taekwondo at an age when some people were only just learning how to walk properly, he had big dreams for the sport growing up.
In his third grade, Sembrano started playing basketball after being encouraged by his school to try out other sports. He started to participate in basketball competitions and clubs with his friends. That was the time when he started to develop a second love interest in the form of playing basketball.
“Of course, I would love to play basketball as a varsity player even without its perks and benefits,” Sembrano says.
Of the two sports however, Sembrano still prefers Taekwondo, since he is already a 12-year practitioner after all. He did say, though, that there is still a different feeling being on the hard court. “My mom was really passionate and supportive of me in playing basketball. It was my dad who convinced me that I should really pick just one sport if I really wanted to excel,” he adds.
Sembrano eventually decided to pursue Taekwondo instead. He says he does not regret the decision of focusing on Taekwondo considering the success he and his team are currently having.
When asked what aspects good sportsmen have, he stressed, “Goals and objectives are the fuel of excellence. Your passion and dedication for your sport is what will lead you to what you really want to achieve in your sport or life, in general.”
The field goals are good
Green Archer Abu Tratter was raised in a family where playing sports was the norm, so his height and athleticism definitely came in handy. Inevitably, sports like American football and basketball were the avenues he pursued growing up in the United States.
Tratter discovered his potential in sports when he first played basketball in grade school. However, he wanted to participate in something other than basketball and that is where American football came in to picture. “Growing up, my dad was a big time football player so football was definitely a big option for me to pursue but it was accident prone,” he shares.
The Laguna-born Tratter played varsity basketball and American football at the same time for Saint Francis High School in California and was constantly on the radar for scouts in both of the sports.
He also mentioned that he would definitely play collegiate football if given a chance. “I’d play football for sure just because the atmosphere of football is different,” Tratter mentions.
The Philippine brand of basketball has a reputation of being a lot tougher than in other countries. With his first season in the UAAP in the books, Tratter even compared basketball in the Philippines to American football. “The physicality is the same, actually. Basketball here is really tough especially in the post, [when] you’re really getting banged up just like [American] football.”