Published on July 11th, 2014 | by DLSU Sports0
Quest for the hat trick: Lasallian athletes on the hunt for overall supremacy anew
“If it happens once, it’s luck. If it happens twice, it’s coincidental. If it happens thrice, there’s a pattern,” a history professor in La Salle once told a bunch of students in my class a few terms ago. On a similar note, the DLSU athletes are hopeful of establishing a pattern in UAAP Season 77—to take home a third consecutive UAAP General Championship to Taft Avenue at the end of the academic year.
The past two UAAP seasons were bountiful for De La Salle University. 2012-13 saw the teams in Green and White capture the university’s first UAAP General Championship on the back of a second-half surge, prompting La Salle to terminate UST’s long reign on top. The following season all La Salle teams picked up the pace early to a more comfortable second overall crown with five of the six season champions played during the first half of the season. In the grand scheme of things, La Salle is favoured to garner its third UAAP GC in three years. However, the journey to number three is as dangerous and difficult—if not more—as the other two previous crusades were.
Competition has always been tough, particularly against UST and FEU whose teams, like La Salle’s, are known to make deep runs and title challenges in several sports. The emergence of NU, Ateneo and UP’s continuous attempt of breaking the mid-tier barrier also presents a challenge to La Salle in the same way that it is an advantage. This becomes advantageous in such manner that it opens up the competition. Adamson and UE also have competitive teams but are only participating in few events. Still, their excellent form in some sports could spell the difference between the winners and losers.
One of the difficulties La Salle is certain to encounter in keeping the UAAP overall title is the exodus of experienced athletes. Most of the teams’ leaders and reliable personnel have already graduated or have forgone their last playing year for the university. Through dedicated leadership and enviable display of skills, the veterans have contributed heavily in achieving La Salle’s strong finish in the league. Leaving behind the responsibility of leading their teams to the younger but equally competent teammates, they join the whole Lasallian community with the hope that the ultimate goal will be accomplished one more time.
The rookies, on the other hand, are relatively new to the competitive atmosphere of the UAAP. Most of them established their names with their teams in high school, but a notable number of newcomers have already been part of the previous seasons’ training pools. This gives La Salle a favourable chance of defending the trophy again. Limited participation or not, La Salle’s rookies are known to be bold once put under the spotlight. Numerous newbies have graced the stage excellently that DLSU manages to consistently produce rookie of the year award recipients in some sports for quite a while.
Of course, the biggest responsibility lies to the athletes who have gained a year or two’s worth of championship experience. They now carry the burden of converting goals to accomplishments. Trusted by DLSU to have grown tougher physically, mentally, and psychologically, these young members of the previous batch of champions are now touted to guide their teams past obstacles towards triumph. Their increased familiarity with both the degree of competition and the ins and outs of the implemented system in their teams also boosts these athletes’ capability to perform at a higher level than before.
It is given that not all La Salle teams have won or reach the final of their events, but the teams always worked well towards achieving a bigger goal which is winning the GC. The coordination required to deliver the grandest of glories to Taft Avenue encourages all Lasallian athletes to exert their best effort at all times. Hence, at the end of the day, champions or not in their respective events, La Salle athletes can say that they are winners—UAAP General Champions—for the third time in a row.
To top it off, we have also prepared a teaser video for the upcoming UAAP Season.