Quite often, most people catch themselves calling Ivy Lacsina as the second coming of Jaja Santiago.
Perhaps the reason stems from the likeness in their frames, or their on-court impact, especially with Lacsina’s impressive maiden campaign for National University back in the UAAP Season 81.
But the incoming sophomore holds the narrative in disfavor. For her, she’s simply her own woman.
“Hindi ko kailangan maging Ate Jaja,” Lacsina declared.
Make no mistake, the 6-foot-2 wunderkind has the utmost respect for the NU great. It’s just that she sees Santiago as an inspiration, and not someone she would have to become a spitting image of.
As she put it, “Kailangan kong maging ako at gawin ko siyang motivation.”
Nonetheless, Lacsina has made the right decision to look up to the towering 6-foot-5 Santiago, whose ascent from the collegiate ranks to the pros — and eventually to the international scene — has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
“Para sa akin, sobrang nakaka-proud and nakaka-motivate talaga si Ate Ja. Sobrang iba ang impact niya talaga,” Lacsina said of Santiago, who recently made history in the vaunted Japan V. Premier League as a reinforcement for Saitama Ageo Medics.
“Sobrang nakaka-proud po ‘yun and nakaka-motivate na gan’un na si Ate Jaja ngayon. Dati nakakausap ko lang ‘yan. Iba na ang narating niya ngayon.”
And like any other young talent hungry for greatness, Lacsina is hoping to pick up a thing or two from Santiago’s recipe for excellence.
“Naisip ko na grabe, ‘yun pala ang kaya mong marating kung mag-hardwork ka and nag-focus ka sa dapat mong i-focus. Parang simpleng bagay lang kasi sobrang disiplinado ni Ate Ja,” the promising Lady Bulldog bared.
“Kinukwento ng iba naming teammates na naranasang maging senior siya, iba po ang disiplina niya sa sarili niya,” she then continued.
“‘Yun po ang naisip ko na, ‘Ay! Kailangan ito ang disiplina ko para someday makuha ko rin ang pwede kong makuha.'”
Drawing inspiration from one of NU’s finest products, Lacsina seeks to continue building her legacy in the collegiate circuit and help elevate the Lady Bulldogs to greater heights when the curtains finally raise this Season 82.
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