Almost but not quite: A Look at DLSU’s UAAP Season 77 GC Runner-Up Finish

After snagging its first UAAP General Championship (GC) in 2013 and winning it yet again in 2014, much was expected from De La Salle University’s varsity teams in UAAP Season 77. The Lasallians’ charge towards a third consecutive GC, unfortunately, fell short by just three points as the University of Santo Tomas reclaimed its perch atop the UAAP as the season ended last March.

Despite the failed bid for a third consecutive GC, Office of Sports Development Director Emmanuel Calanog remains positive when asked about DLSU’s performance last season. He shares, “Even if we did not win the General Championship, I think that the teams performed well. Although we only had three champions we had nine second placers.”

Calanog continues, saying, “That means we had a total of 11 or 12 finalists, which could have given us our third straight GC if luck was on our side or it was really a couple of how do you call this, unlucky games that could’ve gone either way.”

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File photo: DLSU last won the UAAP GC in Season 76, receiving its second straight GC trophy in March of 2014.
UST finished with 283 points on the strength of five gold, five silver, and eight bronze medals. On the other hand, DLSU ended its campaign with 280 points, highlighted by three gold, nine silver, and four bronze medals.

La Salle’s champions in last season’s UAAP wars were the Green Woodpushers, Green Paddlers, and Lady Paddlers. The Lady Spikers finished second in both the indoor and beach volleyball tournaments while the Lady Woodpushers, Green Shuttlers, Green Tracksters, Lady Jins, the Poomsae Jins, the Green Batters, and the Men’s Football Team also received silver medals at the end of their respective tourneys. Finishing third were the Green Archers, Lady Archers, Lady Tankers, and Lady Tennisters.

Though La Salle’s final tally of three gold medals was just the fourth highest total in the UAAP, it still managed to climb the standings to make a legitimate push for the UAAP Season 77 GC. This was made possible through the competitive showings of most of its teams as only two squads failed to finish in the top five of the standings of their respective tournaments. Aside from the aforementioned top three finishers, eight teams finished fourth while three achieved fifth place.

When asked about what could have been the reason behind La Salle falling short in last year’s GC, Edwin Reyes, one of DLSU’s representatives to the UAAP Board, pinpoints one key thing. “Succession wasn’t there,” says Reyes.

“I think it’s owed largely to lack of budget so let’s say you have only five slots of scholarships. You wait for them to finish. That’s the only time you get one,” cites Reyes. He adds, “Diba, if you have a factory system, every batch should have enough [slots]. So pag naggraduate etong seniors, yung juniors mo merong diyan na strong na or actually sa sophomore may strong na.”

Reyes sums it up, saying, “So it’s just strategizing. Planning properly.”

Despite failing to secure a third consecutive GC, La Salle’s performance over the past few years is commendable, especially after taking into consideration the University’s low population size as compared to UST. However, DLSU must brace itself and enhance preparations for the future UAAP wars if it intends on keeping its perch as a perennial contender for the GC. UST is expected to remain competitive, as they have over the past few decades, while UP and ADMU, the only other universities aside from UST and DLSU that participate in every UAAP event, have slowly inched closer to the top two over the past few years. For DLSU to remain in contention for the GC, a plan of succession, as stated by Reyes, will be the key.

Ronaldo Manzano

By Ronaldo Manzano

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