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Carlo Mateo: Another Rookie Sensation from Taft

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“Thank you kay Lord, kasi siya nagbigay, sobrang saya, ‘di ko maexplain, lahat ng pagod ko napawi lahat.”

These are words from Green Paddler Carlo Mateo, after his first championship win in this year’s UAAP Men’s Table Tennis tournament.

Although he had sealed the title, he humbly said that it was not just his win, but a team effort. “Hindi lang ako ang nagpa-champion, kaming lahat yun.” He further explained that he is delighted to have chosen DLSU because he couldn’t have asked for a better team. He had been eyeing the team ever since he graduated high school, and with the help of head coach Lauro Crisostomo, has made his way here.

As a rookie in the team, he had lacked confidence in the first games he played since the Green Paddlers are a powerhouse. There had been many challenging opponents he had needed to beat on the court, but the hardest to overcome was not an opposition player but the difficulty of being a student-athlete; he needed to balance his schoolwork while training hard. It was demanding, but through the trust of his teammates and coach he was able to withstand all those trials and come out stronger. “Be confident, makinig lang kay coach,” he said, advice that obviously paid off as he was named as this season’s Rookie of the Year.

There will be more challenges ahead for Mateo in his career, and he expects that the coming seasons will be tougher than ever as DLSU try to defend their title next UAAP Season. Mateo hopes his name will be one the fans will cheer for some now on.

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