There is a saying that goes ‘it’s not how you start, but how you finish’
Golden Booters forward Marvin Bricenio may have been one of coach Marjo Allado’s most dependable players, but it feels like it’s only now that the student-athlete has blossomed into a full-fledged star for the University of Santo Tomas.
UST have won their first two games of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Tournament in stunning fashion, and one of the main reasons has to be Bricenio who scored a hattrick against the Far Eastern University, and added another goal versus the Adamson University.
“Maganda yung preparation naming, like pre-season nag-champion kami. Para sa akin, siyempre graduating ako, so gusto ko itong last season ibubuhos ko yung makakaya ko,” shared Bricencio, who was born in Japan and moved back to the country in 2009.
“Gusto naming umabot yung championship kaya gusto ko (maka-)goal or assist man para makatulong sa team tsaka mananalo every game.
“Siguro this pre-season marami kaming sinalihan na tournaments like Pilipinas Cup at Ang Liga. Yung Pilipinas Cup doon kami naging buo as a team at doon galling yung momentum na champion kami kaya dalhin naming dito sa Season 80,” the resident of Taguig added.
As one of Allado’s veterans, the Bachelor of Sports and Wellness Management student knows that he and the rest of his batchmates need to do more than just the bare minimum for the team.
He explained, “Sa players namin, marami kaming senior players kaysa sa ibang team so mas-organized kami. Kasi halos eight players ang senior players sa amin so kami yung nagdadala sa team, hindi lang sa field kundi sa labas, sa studies kaya naging buo kami.”
For the fifth-year player, his dreams and ambition are not just for his school in the UAAP, but something more personal.
“Yun yung pangarap kong maging professional football player.
“Gusto kong i-push ang sarili ko para gumaling every game. Gusto ko ipakita sa lahat na nag-goal ako or nag-assist. Dun makikita eh. Lalo akong sisikat as a player,” he said.
UST last won the UAAP Men’s Football Championship in Season 69. That drought has been simply too long for such a storied program team like the Golden Booters.
“Siyempre championship (ang gusto namin),” Bricenio reiterated. “Hindi yun mawawala. Pero sa ngayon kailangan namin pumasok sa top four tsaka every game kailangan naming manalo.
“Hindi kami dapat makuntento sa isang panalo lang kundi every game manalo para maganda ang full season.”
A UAAP gold medal and a future pro-career — only a few student-athletes can say they have achieved both. At the rate it is going, though, Bricenio is more than capable of hitting two birds with one stone this season.