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UAAP-Season-80-Men’s-Football-Finals—UP-def-UST—Ian-Clarino
UAAP-Season-80-Men’s-Football-Finals—UP-def-UST—Ian-Clarino

Football

Ian Clarino has no regrets in choosing UP


It was not long ago that the UAAP has implemented a two-year residency rule on high school student-athletes wishing to pursue both tertiary education and college sports in an institution other than affiliate ones within the league. Such as University of Santo Tomas High School graduates going to University of the Philippines.

However, a young Ian Clarino knew once after a training session with the UP Men’s Football Team where he wanted to go for college despite the prevailing situation.

“Nung third year [high school] ako, naki-train ako sa kanila. ‘Dun pa lang, nakita ko ‘yung coaches kung gaano nila tinuturan ‘yung players, at family talaga sila. Gusto ko na mag-UP,” one of the youngest of the Clarino siblings shared.

“Hindi talaga ko nagpa-dictate sa two years na residency.”

And it was for good measure. The ever-positive football stalwart turned to using his time off as a time to improve and he knew and thought, “Darating din yung time ko na makalaro.”

Call it lawful intervention, but due to the Student Athletes Protection Act of 2015, Clarino now had a chance to serve UP.

While on a plane to Japan for a training camp for the then-upcoming 2015 Southeast Asian Games, the news came to the then incoming sophomore, who was supposed to go through his second year of residency, from no less than his UP MFT captain Jinggoy Valmayor, who is also then the U23 skipper for those SEA Games.

Ian can now play.

“Sobrang saya ko ‘nun,” Clarino recalled. “Sinusutok ko pa si Goy.

“Finally, maka-kaserve na ko sa UP.”

It was not all fun and games though as when he stepped on the pitch of Far Eastern University for his first match, nerves started to creep in. The then debuting center back just thought, “Inisip ko na lang na since football is a team sport, marami namang sasalo sa kin. Gawin ko lang dapat kong gawin.”

The trick might have worked as after the UAAP 77th season, the center back was named Best Defender. “Sobrang chamba,” he quipped. “Hindi ko inexpect.

“Ginawa ko lang ‘yung sinabi ng coaches sa training. Yun yung ginagawa ko sa game.”

Fast forward to three years and two championships after, one of the touted as the “next-generation Azkals defender” bagged his second Best Defender award and captained his side to another UAAP title.

#ReadMore  Paulo Macasaet, Blue Eagles bounce back, deal Green Batters first loss

Truly this season’s Most Valuable Player’s choices were validated.

“No regrets.”

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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