There are only a few student-athletes who can say that they ended their UAAP careers undefeated.
There’s Regina Santiago of De La Salle’s women’s tennis team as she went 28-0 in her collegiate career. Ateneo’s Bianca Carlos went 50-0 in the league’s women’s badminton tournament while legendary La Sallian Yan Lariba had an immaculate 81-0 record in singles play in women’s table tennis.
Prior to Wednesday, only Luica Dacanay (gold in 35 events) of UP’s women’s swimming team, Rizza Bernardino and Clariz Palma (62-0) of Adamson Softball can say that they went undefeated in their careers while going five-for-five.
At around one o’clock in the afternoon Wednesday, a new student-athlete joined the ultra elite club.
National University Lady Bulldog Ria Nabalan, together with batchmate Jhianne Layug, ended her UAAP career with a clean slate of 80-0 — a streak that started back in July 13, 2014 and ended on December 5, 2018.
“Masaya siyempre, at least ngayon masasabi ko na naging part na ako ng history,” expressed the 22-year-old guard about going undefeated.
But she never expected all of this when she was a wide-eyed rookie coming from Chiang Kai Shek College back in 2014.
“Wala,” she replied when asked a moment when she was afraid that the streak will end.
“Nandiyan naman mga teammates ko at coaches namin eh. Wala. Hindi kami pwede matakot kasi alam naming nasa likod namin ang isa’t isa,” she added.
“May mga times siguro na madodown kami, marami kaming struggles, and bilog yung bola, one day siguro matatalo kami pero hindi pa ngayon.”
With five UAAP gold medals dangled around her neck, Nabalan’s duties with NU is now over. Now, she looks forward to serving the country — either with the Philippine Navy or Perlas Pilipinas.
“Siguro, magtra-try ako mag Navy kasama yung mga seniors ko. Hoping din sana makuha sa RP Team.”
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