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Into the newer battle: Perez upbeat on SEAG debut

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Nathaniel Perez can be considered a prodigy for the sport of fencing. During his high school years in the University of the East, Nat has raked up accolade after accolade. After an upset in Season 76, the UAAP Rookie Most Valuable Player reclaimed the top plum in the senior’s division last December with a dominant performance in all three weapon disciplines: sabre, epee, and foil.

This time, the young achiever takes on a new battlefield: the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. Perez has mixed emotions going into his first-ever SEA Games, but he is beyond excited to represent the country.

However, donning the national colors is not a new thing for Perez. The junior national fencers, in which he is included, recently participated in the Asian Junior Championships in Abu Dhabi last March. The Red Warrior also joined the World Championships in Uzbekistan the following month. He felt that his results from the tournaments were satisfactory. When asked about the whole team’s preparations for the biennial event, the fencing upstart shared, “Yung sa preparation naming training, naging maganda naman patakbo ng association namin. Sa training schedules: training kami twice a day, morning and evening.” He added that they have been training since March for the SEA Games. Moreover, their training has been continuous for the aforementioned tournaments and some others.

One of the more recent and notable international performance of the fencing star is his Round of 16 finish in last year’s Asian Games. Perez expressed that the result motivates him to do better this time. He stated, “nakatulong sa ‘kin yun ng sobra kasi tumaas yung morale ko. Nakadagdag siya sa [confidence para sa] ‘kin.” To perform better for the SEAG, the rising athlete needs to get past tough opponents, which include ranked fencers from Singapore and Vietnam, and even his teammate, veteran campaigner and multiple gold medalist Emerson Segui.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Into the newer battle: Perez upbeat on SEAG debut    Perez shared that his sport’s association targets five or six golds for Team Philippines, which is half of the mints at stake at the Games. The SEAG debutant, however, declined to name the specific events. “I don’t want to drop eh. Hopefully lahat makuha namin,” he explained.

Despite all the achievements that the UAAP standout reached throughout his fencing career, he just wants to live for the moment on Games time. “I am blessed to be chosen to represent the country,” the Finance senior expressed. With positivity as his most potent weapon, aside from his foil, Perez is ready to conquer the region and first ever SEAG.

Perez takes the piste on June 4 for the men’s individual foil event starting at 9:30 am.

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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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