DLSU Lady Tennisters claim bronze with victory over UP

The De La Salle University Lady Tennisters captured bronze medal after overcoming a rough-and-tumble affair with the UP Fighting Lady Maroons, 3-2, yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.

With the campaign ending on a high note, the Lady Tennisters gave graduating players Rachelle De Guzman and Nikki Arandia a fitting farewell to their UAAP careers.

Sophomore Kylla Orillosa was assigned to play the first singles match. The first set went awry as the State-U tennister claimed it, 6-2. In the second canto, Orillosa attempted to mount a comeback, forcing an extension of the set. However, her opponent was able to nudge herself ahead to seal it, 6-4.

With the team down 0-1, co-captain Jed Aquino unleashed the Animo spirit. She downed her Maroon counterpart, 6-2 and 6-3. Aquino equalized the match at 1-apiece on a hard-earned manner.

Rookie Annika Silangcruz teamed up with senior Mary Alcantara in an attempt to push their team ahead. Despite brave counter-attacks from the Taft-based duo, the pair from Diliman held on to win, 6-2, 6-0.

Senior tennister Nikki Arandia partnered with Jenni Dizon to duke it out in the second doubles match. In her farewell game, Arandia led the Taft-based duo in smashing all hopes of their UP counterparts with twin scores of 6-1. As much tears as the win brought to Arandia’s eyes, it also brought La Salle one win closer to the bronze as they knotted the count at 2-all.

Arandia admitted feeling pressure during the game, but sadness engulfed her after as it she put it, “sobrang nakakalungkot. Iniisip ko lahat ng sacrifice ko since I was 11 years old. But I have to move on. Tennis was my everything. Kaya di ko rin mapigilan yung tears ko kasi naging buhay ko ang tennis. Forever ako magiging thankful sa tennis.” She added that there were no regrets after representing the Green and White for five years as she was very thankful to be part of the team and they have become her second family.

It was the skipper’s time to shine once again. Rachelle De Guzman was tasked to pull the team through at the last singles. With the match possibly being her last, the fresh graduate did not disappoint. She was able to crush UP’s hopes of salvaging a win by thrashing every rally in the first canto, 6-0. With the victory well within her grasp, De Guzman showed why she was the boss. She gave her opponent a glimmer of hope by giving a single point in the second set. She then felt the need to shift to a higher gear. With the set possibly being her last and with her parents watching from the sidelines, RDG showed why she is never to be taken lightly as she showed complete dominance, winning the second set, 6-1.

Once again, pulling the team through and rising above adversity, De Guzman was pressured the last time against their rivals. This time, she exuded confidence for herself and co-senior Arandia. De Guzman said, “It might be my last game. Nikki, last na niya for sure. So every hit of the ball, I made sure na mahihirapan yung opponent. Masarap sa feeling na I was able to win the game.”

“That win was for my parents, for the seniors and the rest of the team, for the coaches, for the university, and most especially for God,” she added.

She had no regrets in her years as a Lasallian student-athlete. More than the athletic achievements, De Guzman shared that graduating with Lasallian education is an achievement that she will forever be proud of.

De Guzman felt ecstatic after seeing the team fall into a slump early, before finding the perfect lineup and matchups en route to the podium.

Despite their departures, Arandia and De Guzman expressed confidence that the team will continue to grow and succeed in the coming seasons. They said, “the team can do it. The experiences they gained playing in the UAAP and other tournaments will help the team mature.”

DLSU Lady Tennisters hang on to defeat arch-rivals Ateneo, notch first win of the season

The De La Salle University Lady Tennisters banked on a masterful performance by skipper Rachelle De Guzman to beat arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles and claim their first win of the season on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.

Kylla Orillosa started the first singles match of the Taft-based squad. The sophomore tennister showed much promise after rushing to a 6-2 win in the first canto. But, her opponent forced a decider after claiming the second set, 6-4. There was no looking back for Ateneo’s Bautista as she was able to fend off rally after rally from Orillosa to claim the set, 6-2, and the match, 2-1.

Co-captain Jed Aquino played the second singles. Atenean tennister Carmen So rushed to an early lead, but Aquino would not give up the set as she clawed back and denied So, 7-5. In the second canto, Aquino made quick work of So as the former swept the match with a 6-3 set two win.

Senior Lady Tennisters Jenni Dizon and Nikki Arandia were tasked to pull their team closer to victory in the first doubles. They were up against the duo of Annika Mallari and Jana Pages. In the first set, it was a walk in the park for the Lasallian pair as they were able to quickly claim it, 6-1. The second set, however, saw a long grind between both teams who traded brilliant hits. Ateneo and La Salle had to go through the long route with La Salle ending it via a tie-break, 7-6.

Kiana Gacias and Mary Alcantara saw action for La Salle in the second doubles. With their backs against the wall, Atenean pair Jana Hernandez and Nicole Amistad were more determined to get the win. The two made quick work of their Taft-based counterparts, leaving them scoreless in two straight sets, 0-6, 0-6.

The third singles was the time to shine for team captain Rachelle De Guzman. She quickly finished the first set with a score of 6-2. The second set, though, did not go the way of La Salle as Ateneo’s Sampaton was able to snatch a close win over De Guzman, 7-5. With her undefeated streak at stake, De Guzman put on a clinic in the final set of the day. She showed everyone how it must be done by hammering her opponent to submission with a dominant 6-0 scoreline.

After winning their first game of the season, De Guzman shared how it felt good to have finally won a game. She said that the energy of the team and matchups were exceptional. “I owe it to my teammates. They were there, supporting and cheering me all the way. If wala sila, hindi ako mananalo.” De Guzman added, “Thanks to my coaches din kasi always there sila para i-guide ako.”

For their next game, De Guzman said, “Individually, we have to stay focused and mas eager manalo. For me, still the same. Do my best always. Next week, I’ll give one hundred and ten percent.”

The DLSU Lady Tennisters invites everyone to catch them in their final game of the season against the UP Fighting Lady Maroons on Sunday at the same venue.

Green Tennisters falter against rival Ateneo

The DLSU Green Tennisters were not able to hold off a determined Ateneo team as the latter was able to snatch the tie, 2-3, in the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Tennis Tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts, February 25.

Skipper Kyle Parpan started the day off for the Green and White with a tough three-setter that went down the wire. The first two sets were a split between the competitors with the victor winning six sets, while the other only managed to grab two. During the tough see-saw third set, Ateneo’s Camlas was able to wrestle momentum and advantage from the Lasallian captain enroute to the a 4-6 victory to seal the first match for the blue and white.

The second singles was played by DLSU’s singles ace, Betto Orendain. However, Marcen Gonzales of Ateneo managed to throw off the Lasallian ace off his game. The Atenean was able to clinch the victory, 4-6, 1-6.

The duo of Qoqo Allian and Jonah Cano were able to claim the first match for the tennisters from Taft Avenue. It was not an easy win for them as they had to go through the eye of the needle against a game tandem from Ateneo. The Green Tennisters were able to win the first match, 7-6, 6-4 with a lone deuce.

Argil Canizares ran over his opponent in the third singles. It felt almost like practice as there was very minimal resistance from the blue side. Atenean tennister Vernon Huibonhua was blown away by Canizares, 6-0 and 6-1.

With the score knotted at 2 apiece, it was upto the pair of Asistio and Teng to clinch the tie for La Salle. However, it was the Katipunan duo of Gatdula and Flores that saved the day for their team. The Blue Tennisters clinched the victory after winning the do-or-die match, 5-7 and 4-6.

The Green Tennisters look to get back on the winning track against UE on March 3, 8am at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.

Lady Tennisters come within an arm’s reach of winning against UST

The De La Salle University Lady Tennisters upped their game to start the second round. They went toe-to-toe with the undefeated team from the University of Santo Tomas. However, the Taft-based squad fell short, 2-3, at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts, Sunday.

Singles

In the first singles match, fans were treated to a heartstopper as co-captain Jed Aquino went through a nearly 3-hour war against UST’s KT Malinis. With the first two sets split between the athletes, Aquino rushed to a 3-0 lead to start the third canto. The smooth-sailing start would somehow come to a halt as the España-based Malinis went on a 5-game run which gave her match point. The tables would then turn as Aquino rallied back and forced a tiebreak. Momentum would swing back and forth in the extension as both players tried to pull away. With both players running on afterburners, Malinis hung on to get the victory. The match ended with scores of 3-6, 6-3, and 6-7 with four deuces.

The second singles saw skipper Rachelle De Guzman sweep her opponent in two sets. The first set was a hotly contested one as both players kept in step with each other. The second set contrasted the events of the first as De Guzman easily dispatched of UST’s Erika Manduriao. The match ended with scores of 6-4 and 6-1.

The third singles was played by Kylla Orillosa of La salle. She faced Monica Cruz of UST. With the tie all knotted at 2 a piece, it was upto Orillosa to bring home the bacon for the Lady Tennisters and bring the Lady Tigresses their first defeat of the season. Cruz made sure that no upset was going to take place as she dispatched of Orillosa in 2 sets, 3-6, 0-6.

Doubles

Mary Alcantara and Kiana Gacias represented the Taft-based squad in the first doubles. However, UST’s tandem of Precian Rivera and Ingrid Gonzales would deny them the win. The match finished in favor of UST, 0-6 and 1-6.

The second doubles allowed La Salle to get even with UST. Nikki Arandia and Jenni Dizon were able to outlast Tigress duo Ebeb Caorte and Meann San Jose in three sets, 6-2, 1-6, and 6-1.

Team captain Rachelle De Guzman said that the match-ups were in their favor and they have a good opportunity to put a dent on the immaculate record held by the Tigresses. De Guzman added, “The crucial match came up short. Sayang kasi that’s the chance to get our first win and big help sana samin yon for the remaining games.” She also said that the tough defeat will be a wake up call to the rest of the team.

The Lady Tennisters will look to break in to the win column on March 4 against rivals Ateneo De Manila University at 8am. The tie will be held at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts. See you there!

Green Tennisters assert mastery over Fighting Maroons

The De La Salle University Green Tennisters showed their fine form as they downed the UP Fighting Maroons anew, 4-1, earlier at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.

Singles

The day started out well as Argil Canizares looked to dominate his opponent after a 6-2 tally in the first set. However, his opponent bounced back in the second canto. Luckily, for the Taft-based Tennister, he was able to hold off the UP rally and clinch the match after a 7-6 scare in the second set.

Team captain Kyle Parpan and co-captain Betto Orendain took the courts for the second and third singles. There was little resistance from the Diliman-based squad as both easily swept their respective opponents. Orendain finished the day with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-0. On the other hand, Parpan also gave up just 4 sets to his counterpart, winning with a score of 6-3 and 6-1.

Doubles

The tandem of Qoqo Allian and Jonah Cano won in straight sets. The pair had twin scores of 6-4 in both sets that they played.

With another win in the bag, the Taft-based tennisters looked to sweep their games for the day. However, fate would not have it as the duo of Hans Asistio and Raphael Teng lost via a heartbreaker, 4-6 and 6-7.

The Green Tennisters look to continue their winning ways against rivals Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles tomorrow, February 25 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts. The game will start at 8am.

Third Time’s the Charm: Lady Shuttlers oust Lady Eagles; advance to Finals


Photo by: Tim Nolasco

The DLSU Lady Shuttlers finally knocked out their Ateneo counterparts in five thrilling matches, 3-2, in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Badminton Tournament at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Courts, Saturday.

After bowing out for two straight years even with the twice-to-beat advantage against the Lady Eagles, La Salle changed the outcome this season and broke the ADMU curse.

It was a rough start as Sevilla lost two quick sets, 12-21 and 10-2, to the then-undefeated Bianca Carlos. But as they say – START STRONG, FINISH STRONGER.

Arianne Rivera bounced back and got the first win for the Taft squad as she dispatched Ateneo’s captain, Cassie Lim in three frames, 21-14, 19-21, and 21-16.

The first doubles was a tussle between the pair of Isay Leonardo and the comebacking Nicole Albo against Geva de Vera and Trixie Malibiran. They quickly finished the match to put La Salle one win away from clinching a spot in the finals, 21-13, 21-16.

The pressure-packed second doubles was a tough match for La Salle as the duo of Sevilla and Tercias bowed to their Atenean counterparts, 9-21, 21-18, and 21-12.

With the score knotted at 2-all, the comebacking Nicole Albo made quick work of Atenean senior Trixie Malibiran to book a seat for La Salle in the finals, 21-12, 21-13.

It was the first time in three years that La Salle was able to find the solution to the Lady Eagle’s dominance over them in the final four phase of the tournament. Coach Owen was pleased that finally, his team was able to get over the final four nightmare that was Ateneo. He added that it was a coincidence that during the previous seasons, they were defeated on his birthday. But this year, the lost fell on Ateneo coach Kennie Asuncion’s birthday.

“Masaya. Masayang-masaya. Siyempre iba yung Rivalry ng La Salle at Ateneo. Sabi ko nga na dapat matibay ang singles namin”, Coach Lopez said, “Sabi ko sa kanila, matibay ang Ateneo, dapat mas matibay tayo”.

Catch the Lady Shuttlers battle against the UP Lady Maroons in the Finals tomorrow, 1PM, still at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Courts.

DLSU Lady Shuttlers Demolish UE Lady Warriors

Photo by: Timothy Nolasco

The Lady Shuttlers put on a show as they dominated the shuttlers from the University of the East. The games were held at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Courts on September 30.

The DLSU Lady Shuttlers ended their respective matches quickly as the UE Lady Warriors efforts were not enough to salvage a win.

The returning DLSU Lady Shuttler Nicole Albo set the pace, overpowering her opponent in under 20 minutes with set scores of 21-6 and 21-8.

It was followed up by another quick thrashing in the hands of Arianne Rivera, as she left her opponent in the dust, 21-3 and 21-6.

The first and only test for the Taft-based shuttlers was during the first set of the second doubles as the Lady Warriors capitalized on Tercias and Sevilla’s errors, only to fall under 21-18. The second set proved to be a different story as the Lasallian pair bounced back, 21-6.

National Team mainstays Leonardo and Sevilla made quick work of their opponents, only allowing them to put a fingertip on double digits, ending the second doubles with a score of 21-12 and 21-11.

The last singles was also a domination by Sevilla as she sent her opponent crashing to the ground with a thunderous 21-minute destruction, 21-8 and 21-6.

Much needed momentum was gained by the Lady Shuttlers as they go back to war against bitter rivals Ateneo de Manila University tomorrow, 1pm at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Courts.

UAAP Season 80: The DLSU Green and Lady Shuttlers are Going for Great

The DLSU Green and Lady Shuttlers finished 4th and 3rd, respectively in the 79th Season of the UAAP.

Looking Back

The Green Shuttlers slid to 4th in the 79th season. This was a huge disappointment considering that they were runners-up during the 78th season of the annual collegiate competition.

Season 79 can be seen as the land of opportunities. Despite the Green Shuttlers falling out of a podium finish, and the Lady Shuttlers getting the bronze, coach Owen Lopez prefers to dwell on the positives.

“Actually yung season 79 namin, yung result is maganda naman. Kaya lang siyempre may mga instances na nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon kaya lang hindi namin na-grab yung opportunity.” Coach Owen adds, “Maybe yung consistency lang. Siyempre we know naman all teams now na all UAAP teams ay talagang competitive.”

The Lady Shuttlers have been stuck in third place for the past two seasons, bowing to the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers in the semi finals despite finishing higher than their rivals in the elimination round. Despite the setback, the Lady Shuttlers are looking to bounce back and enter the finals this season.

Coach Owen is positive about the returnees and holdovers of the team. “Last year, hindi nakalaro si Nicole(Albo). I hope ngayon makapag-contribute yon. Hindi lang si Nicole, but yung mga graduating players ko, sana maka-contribute sila sa team,” coach Owen ended. Veteran shuttler Iyah Sevilla adds, “No team has a guaranteed seat in the finals. The games will be very tough. I’m certain with one thing, the Lady Shuttlers will give them one hell of a fight and do our best to regain redemption in this year’s UAAP Season 80.”

Pre-season Preparations

The preseason was a period of adjustments and sacrifices for the Taft-based shuttlers. The team had 5am practices. Also last year’s seniors had played out their eligibility, leaving the team with high hopes that the crown will be brought back to Taft.

Coach Owen targets the final four as in his words, “First of all, syempre target muna namin is makapasok sa top 4 kasi syempre every year, yun yung gusto namin mangyari.” He also wants the team to take this season one team tie at a time. “Sinabi ko sa team ko na target namin is top four, pero tsaka na lang namin iisipin yun sa susunod na mga games namin.”

International Experience

Alyssa Leonardo is a senior playing in her fifth year and has been a mainstay for the Philippine National Badminton Team. Recently she was able to gain valuable international experience in the SEA Games. She hopes that this experience can boost the team’s chances of landing in the top four and ultimately bring the crown back to Taft.

In Leonardo’s own words, “Given the chance, I would like to share to my fellow team mates that confidence is the key. When one is confident and focused, you will overcome the pressure. I have won and lost so many times. I was a stonethrow away from the bronze medal at the SEA games and I made it possible because I was confident that I can make it and will make it one day.” Coach Owen Lopez was supportive in saying that the team became more confident with Leonardo’s presence. He hopes that this experience will serve as motivation for Leonardo and the team.

What to Expect

This season, the Taft-based shuttlers are looking forward to improve on last year’s performance. Coach Owen said that despite his lineup being not as deep as some of their competitors, he has high expectations for the team. He also adds, “Sa team ko naman, kahit sino pwede maging x-factor so sana every game may mag step up.”

Catch the Green Shuttlers as they open their season against the UST Growling Tigers at 8am. The Lady Shuttlers will also open their season at 1pm against the AdU Soaring Falcons. The games will be held at September 21 at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Courts.

Keeper’s Corner: Inna Kristianne Palacios

Heroes come and go, but LEGENDS STAY FOREVER.

Five fruitful years. From cellar dweller to UAAP Champion! Inna Palacios went through struggles in the early stages of her UAAP career, but her hardwork and dedication finally paid off. There could not have been a better ending than this. 4-time best goalkeeper, team captain, final goal scorer for the season. Inna dedicated her successes to all her coaches, teammates, and the entire Lasallian community who have supported her since day one.

“All these awards are for him (Coach Lolong). He has been my constant goalkeeping coach. Coach Hans, he’s always been there. But (it really is) Coach Lolong. Si Haya, Deyto, me, lahat kami produkto niya.” She also commended her backup keeper, Erika Turtur. “Si Tur, she’s an excellent keeper.”

Discovering Football

Palacios started as a curious little third-grader who wanted to play around. According to her, someone just entered their room looking for kids who wanted to play football. It was love at first try. She also admitted that it was not her first sport.

“Someone went to our room and asked who wants to play. As a kid, I wanted to go out and play. I wanted something to do after school, I didn’t know it was for the varsity team na pala.” Inna said, “I stopped my taekwondo and I just played football. I just fell in love with the sport and then I never left.”

Palacios only thought of football as for leisure. However, she was given a break during her high school years after she was selected for the youth national team. As she matured as a player, she was given her first cap for the Philippines. Since then, she has been a mainstay of the national team and continues to play for the Malditas.

“I started playing for the youth team when I was in first year high school, the U16. I was 13.” She had her first cap for the Philippines in 2009. “I just kept playing with the U16, U19 until my first year of college, but I was already part of the Malditas or the senior team when I was still in 4th year high school.”

It is never easy playing for flag and country. Being part of the national team helped her in her approach to the game. She also added that these experiences helped her become a better person.

“It also gave me a lot of confidence to do the things that I thought I can never do. I kept going, I kept wanting to improve so the passion was really there, it is the passion really kept me going.”

Where to go?

La Salle or Ateneo? That was the question. She has been raised by a family who are alumni of La Salle, but Palacios initially wanted Ateneo.

“I was checking the Big Four. I went down to Ateneo and La Salle then I really wanted to play in Ateneo because I grew up there and it’s the school I want to be in.” she added, “They were telling me ‘oh go to La Salle because it’s different, the circle when you graduate is really good’ and La Salle for them is La salle and there’s nowhere else to go.”

It was not an easy decision for Palacios as being part of the Lasallian community was new ground for her. After careful deliberation, she decided to take a double degree in DLSU, giving her the chance to play for the green and white for five great years.

“I didn’t want that, I didn’t want to be forced into something. But later I realized that ‘oh maybe I could take a double major from La Salle instead of taking a four-year course then masters. I don’t even know if I’m gonna finish masters’.” Palacios also said, “I called up my dad and said ‘I’m going to La Salle na, I’ll take double major for 5 years. I think it’s a good deal for me, plus the offers were good.’. “

From Striker to Goalkeeper

It is nerve-wracking for a striker going full speed towards the goal knowing that a top notch goalkeeper is always there, ready to block your shot. Same goes for a goalkeeper trying to block a shot from a top-notch striker. Inna has had the experience of both. For her, goalkeeping is an art. From composing herself to deflecting and catching opponents’ attempts, Inna found art in it.

“I used to be a striker(or like a winger). I love the feeling of scoring. When I started playing full-time keeper, I found art in what we were doing like how we save the ball, how we dive, how we catch it. For me, it is the position that has to be most composed, you should have the most composure out of everyone.” She added, “It feels so much better when you stop a shot. First defender will always be the striker, but you’re the last one there, so wala ka nang magagawa.”

Middle Years

Palacios spent her rookie years adjusting to the La Salle system. It was an enjoyable season as she learned to love what she was doing and her seniors helped smoothen the transition. She considers her middle years to be a rebuilding process.

“My second year, we were dead last. My third year, we moved up a spot, so 4th out of 5. Last season, my fourth year, we thought we had it, but we just fell short.”

Season 78 Heartbreak

From being the 4th placed team to bridesmaids. Sweeping the season, Palacios and her team thought it would be a smooth ride to the championship. However, little did they know that it was not meant to be as they were frustrated by eventual champions, the UP Lady Fighting Maroons. The heartbreak served as motivation for Palacios and the Lady Booters for Season 79.

“It was such a nice process to experience because it made this year so much worth it, so much unique out of all the five years of experience.”

“Turning frustration into motivation.” This is what she considers as a key element for the next chapter of her UAAP career.

Coming Back for Season 79 and Her Final Game

Since entering La Salle, Palacios has always planned to play out all five years of eligibility. Everything flashed back as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game, but not before Coach Hans’ prized goalkeeper scored her first(and last) goal of a colorful collegiate career.

“When the referee blew his whistle for a penalty, I didn’t even think.” she added, “It was a crucial penalty so I thought Sara would take it, but then I saw Sara was pointing at me and then I raised my hand. Coach also gave me a signal to go.”

THIS WAS HER CHANCE!

The usually cool, calm and collected captain admitted to having some nerves before attempting it.

“When I was taking the penalty, it took forever. I heard people chanting and I got scared. I was nervous. The keeper was moving towards the side I was gonna go to.”

Again, her nerves of steel prevailed. She sent the ball to the top right corner of the goal, out of the opposing keeper’s reach, and straight into the back of the net. As everyone enjoyed the moment, Palacios was the least shocked and she was extremely thankful for the opportunity.

“It was exactly the same shot I made yesterday. I did not expect it to be that good, but it went in.” She explained, “As a keeper, you thought that the only time I got to score is during a penalty shootout, after extra time. On regular time, it’s extremely rare. Just so thankful that coach gave it to me.”

After the game, emotions could be seen pouring out of the seniors. They were not emotional in the days leading up to the match, but it was after bagging the crown that all emotions went wild.

“After the whistle, everything just came out. We couldn’t hold our emotions. All the hard work, all the efforts, everyday training, your sweat, your injuries, it is just there.”

Message to the Young Football Players

Palacios believes that any athlete who explores their limits, breaks boundaries while staying humble can be successful. These are the qualities Palacios hopes the young players will embrace.

“Don’t be scared to explore your limits. Just keep fighting and keep improving. You don’t know what you can actually do until you do it. Besides everything, stay humble and don’t forget where you came from. Because those are the people who will help you get to where you are. Especially your coaches, family, and friends who have always been there.”

INNA KRISTIANNE PALACIOS, signing off from the UAAP.

A Pre-Season Revelation: Kyra Dimaandal

One player has been turning heads this season. After seeing limited action in Season 78, she has been playing superb football, worthy of a national team selection. This is just the beginning of Kyra Dimaandal’s greatness.

Although suffering from injuries in the past, all Dimandaal had in mind were to get back and play immediately. Season 78 was a struggle for the Lady Booter as a meniscal tear one month before the season derailed her preparations.

“The first thing I thought of even when I had my second ACL was when I can be operated and what’s the shortest time possible to recover”, she said, “I wasn’t in a good shape last year, honestly. I tried so hard to be in my normal form but it was so hard catching up mid-season.”

Sitting on the bench for the majority of last season, Dimaandal is now making up for lost time as she leaves everything on the field. The Lady Booter said that she wants the Green and White to stay on top.

“I just want to play so bad for DLSU because I want to give back everything the university and the people have done for me. I don’t want DLSU to have a bad record. I just fell in love with La Salle.”

Goals never come easy in the competitive landscape of the UAAP Football Tournament. This has not stopped Kyra from consistently scoring for her team. She has been piercing at least a goal for eight straight games dating back to the PFF Womens League. However, she gave the credit to teammate Kyla Inquig, whom she said is responsible for ‘tearing the defense apart’, giving her nice chances on goal.

The booter from Taft also admitted being aware of her streak, but it is not something she prioritizes. She just makes sure that the team is focused and ready coming into the game.

“Yeah, I’m aware of the streak, but I don’t prioritize it. What I think about before playing is if everyone is okay mentally/physically/emotionally before the game starts.”

The national team forward said that the La Salle has to be in the same page if they want to win it all.

“For me, the key to winning is understanding each other and adjusting for each other. No one should give anyone a hard time.”

Catch Kyra and the Lady Booters play their final game of the first round against the FEU Lady Tamaraws today, March 11, 3pm at the Rizal Memorial Football Field.