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Alcala desires more success for UP Badminton



UAAP Season 78 ended in mixed emotions for the UP Badminton Team. A loss in the step-ladder playoff match against neighbors the Ateneo Blue Eagles gave the Fighting Maroons an early dismissal. On the other hand, the Lady Maroons finished undefeated for the second consecutive season to win back to back UAAP Women’s Badminton Championships.

UP coach Malvin Alcala was elated with how the season panned out for his Lady Maroons. Alcala said, “Yun ang maganda dun, na-maintain natin. May na-injure pero hindi naman masama. Talagang worth it naman yung mga sacrifices na binigay ng mga players namin para ma-retain ang title.”

A successful title defense in the UAAP doesn’t only require hard work and sacrifice, but also a mental toughness to deal with the added pressure of being reigning champions. Alcala admitted the Lady Maroons had a huge weight on their shoulders after the Season 77 championship and that defending the title was a difficult task to do.

However, Alcala perceived that readiness and enjoyment were key for his players. “Siyempre hindi natin alam kung anong iperperform natin sa ano so ginawa ko talagang nagtraining kami nang grabe. Talagang halos dugo’t pawis. As the same time kasi yun naman dapat is enjoy yung game para mawala yung tense, mawala yung pressure. Kasi yun naman talaga ang kailangan eh. Enjoy mo lang yung ano. Whatever happens enjoy mo yung game, lumabas ang laro mo, ok lang. Win or lose basta kailangan nilaro mo nang maganda, ok lang yun.”

In terms of overall performance this Season 78, Alcala was full of praise for his Lady Maroons. He shared, “sa girls talagang wala akong masabi. Talagang lumabas lahat kung ano yung mga tinetraining namin. Nakikinig sila sa kung anong sinasabi namin so talagang deserve nila mag champion.”

In contrast to the Lady Maroons, Alcala was satisfied but not impressed with the third successive fourth place finish of the Fighting Maroons. He rued the fact that the Fighting Maroons couldn’t achieve a better record this season but still believed that a championship was possible for them in the future. “Maganda yung programa namin kaya talagang makukuha natin itong championship. Diba sabi ni God, ‘basta may tiyaga, may nilaga.”

Season 79 is still a long way to go but Alcala is already looking forward to it because of his recruits. The immediate target of the Fighting Maroons is to show signs of progress. Alcala said, “Yun muna target namin sa Men’s, one level up.”

A good selection problem lies in store for the UP coach in determining who gets into his Lady Maroons come Season 79. Alcala was delighted that the current batch of Lady Maroons retained the championship even without the two blue-chip rookies he intended to field next season. He then confessed his fear of the Lady Maroons’ team chemistry being broken because of changes in the line-up. “Yung medyong nakakatakot na part lang is yung selosan. Hindi maiiwasan sa atin yan pero tingin ko naman mahahandle naman. Alam naman nilang bawat isa na talagang malakas yung darating na players. “

Six straight UAAP Women’s Badminton Championships was the record set by the past iterations of the Lady Maroons and it’s one achievement Alcala aims to at least match, if not better.

To prolong the championship streak of the current Lady Maroons and also for the Fighting Maroons be champions themselves, Alcala believed that continuous support is needed for his players. “Yung mga supporters, ayan yung mga alumni na sana hindi sila magsawa sa tuloy-tuloy na support kasi kailangan. Kailangan lalo na ngayon patagal ng patagal, dumadami na needs ng players”, stated Alcala, who also hoped for more tolerance from UP professors not only for his players, but all the student-athletes competing for the university.

In the end, Alcala wanted to share his team’s glory to their supporters, sponsors, friends, and the UP Pep Squad due to their ceaseless support. “Maraming salamat kasi part kayo ng success namin. Because of those people, nagkakaroon ng confidence yung mga players namin.”


Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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