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Reaching the Finals a blessing for La Salle’s Boac

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Two consecutive finals appearances is a sign of success for any school in the UAAP. Whether or not the championships were secured, those two UAAP finals appearances speak volumes about the competitiveness of the school’s varsity program.

Take the DLSU Men’s Badminton Team for example. In UAAP Season 76, DLSU finished with a 4-3 record, alongside UP, after the elimination round. A playoff match determined the fourth seed in the step-ladder scenario. UP beat DLSU 3-2, which ended the La Salle’s season early and left them in fifth place.

But La Salle bounced back.

UAAP Seasons 77 and 78 proved to be fruitful for DLSU as they earned 6-1 records after the elimination rounds of both campaigns. There was a repeat script for DLSU as they lost to a dominant NU in both the elimination round and finals in both seasons. While two straight first runner-up finishes may be bittersweet for DLSU, it is also a sign of marked improvement from their fifth-place finish in Season 76.

For DLSU captain EJ Boac, Season 78 was a successful term given what his team accomplished the previous year. Boac shared, “First of all, yung aim namin is to get back in the top four. Siyempre hindi kami nagpaparessure na since diba runner-up kami last year, kailangan huwag tayo matalo. Parang no pressure. Enjoy lang namin. One by one. Parang yung target namin is to win one by one and definitely na-reach namin yung goal na yun.”

Despite the losses to NU in the elimination round and the finals this past season, Boac was still proud of the achievements of DLSU, albeit regretting a missed opportunity or two. “Very blessed na kami na umabot kami sa Finals. Parang ang target namin is to enjoy kasi alam naman namin na mas malakas ang NU pero siyempre lahat ng malalakas meron silang butas so yun kami kasi sa amin hindi kami napepressure. Anybody’s game naman so nakita naman namin na nagdeliver naman lahat sa games. Sayang lang kasi may chance kami manalo ng one game. Ganun lang.”

This Season 78 may have been the last time Boac, Gerald Sibayan, Kenneth Monterubio and Anton Cayanan donned the Green and White in the UAAP. Boac explains that Sibayan had run out his eligibility already, while there are question marks over whether he, Monterubio, and Cayanan will return for DLSU next season.

Even if all four of them don’t play for DLSU next season, Boac feels they left a legacy for future Green Archers to uphold. “So today, kita naman namin na nanalo kami ng isa and definitely aabot sana sa fifth game para lang makita nila na ang La Salle medyo umaangat na. Tsaka nag-iwan kami ng mark na never give up. Kami nagtuturuan kami ng teamwork, unity. Yun yung naging key goal namin this season.”

Boac believes that if DLSU wants to maintain its standing in UAAP Men’s Badminton, it has to follow the advice of Coach Owen Lopez regarding hardwork and perseverance. “Yun yung sinabi ni coach Owen. If ever na may gusto kami, kailangan naming paghirapan. Lagi ko sinasabi sa teammates ko na if ever nandiyan tayo sa court, huwag natin tanggalin sa isip ang target natin. Dedication sa game. Definitely one by one lang then mananalo tayo eh.”

The primary goal of DLSU every UAAP season is to win the General Championships, which they accomplished in Seasons 75 and 76. As the captain of the Men’s Badminton Team, Boac is aware of the responsibility to end as high up in the final standings as possible over main rivals UST. “Malaking bagay sa amin na mas malaki angat namin sa UST kasi sila ang kalaban ng La Salle sa General Championship eh. Ngayon confident kami na malaki ang maitutulong namin sa General Championship kasi isa na rin ang Men’s and Women’s Badminton team sa inaasahan ng La Salle para mag-contribute ng malaki talaga.“

While two finals losses in succession may not be the best storyline for Boac and the DLSU Men’s Badminton Team, there’s a silver lining to everything, and a championship may be an inevitability in the future.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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