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Danica Aquino’s gamble to stay in UP pays off


Danica Aquino had the time of her life last year when she debuted with the University of the Philippines softball team.

This was because she was also called up to play for the country’s pride, its national squad – the RP Blu Girls.

With two high-level competitions in the Women’s Asia Cup and the Asian Games under her belt, she felt honored to have represented the country.

“Hindi ko pa rin talaga lubos maisip na umabot ako sa gano’ng level. Siguro nga may nakita sila sa’kin na skills kaya kinuha nila ako para sa national team,” the upstart, who usually plays as an outfielder for both the Fighting Maroons and the Blu Girls, said.

Nonetheless, with her second season with UP fast approaching, Aquino had to make a huge decision.

“Sabi ko, mag-focus ako sa UP,” she said.

UAAP86-Softball-Danica-Aquino-6111 Danica Aquino's gamble to stay in UP pays off News Softball UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

The Physical Education major added, “Mas gusto ko ring mag-focus sa acads ko. Kasi sabi ko, ‘yung national team baka naman andyan lang ‘yan, pero ‘tong acads ko, ayaw kong mawala.”

With such sacrifice also comes putting all her softball prowess into helping UP keep its place as one of the top guns in the UAAP.

And when Aquino’s number was called up in the playoff against the University of Santo Tomas, she responded big time on defense – and more importantly, on offense.

After the Tiger Softbelles leveled the game at two with a huge hit on the line that escaped the left fielder’s guard, she eventually ended the seventh inning for UST with a well-timed catch on the flyball.

#ReadMore  Valdez, Reyes, Fajardo, Lazaro lead first cut for National Team

Needing just a run to make a return trip to the Finals, the lass from Bulacan obliged with her biggest hit of the season yet – a triple to deep left center.

She was then sent home for the walk-off win by a hit from her rookie Angel Pascual.

“Nung pag-apak ko sa batter’s box, alam kong kaya ko. Nagsabi rin sa ‘kin si ate Jam (Rasco), senior namin, na once makaapak (ako), atin ‘tong game na ‘to. Itatak (ko) sa utak (ko), atin ‘tong game na ‘to.

“Kaya ko ‘to, easy lang ako, relax. Ayun, binigay ko lang ‘yung best ko. Ayun, triple,” the San Miguel National High School product recalled.

Now that UP has fulfilled one goal this season – to make the Finals – Aquino will look to make that huge decision count.

And more importantly, she wants to show that collective effort brings results.

“Lahat ng pagsubok lalabanan namin. Hindi kami susuko eh kasi hangga’t hindi pa tapos, lalaban kami. Ang susunod naming goal ay mag-champion. Gusto naming ipakita kung ano talaga ang kaya ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas,” Aquino ended.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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