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The Smart Elite family extends to the UAAP



Smart Communications’, the undisputed mobile leader in the Philippines, commitment to encourage the Filipino youth to cultivate a passion for sports continued Wednesday afternoon with the introduction of nine new ambassadors to the Smart Elite family.

Last July 8, 2015, ten outstanding student-athletes from the NCAA were introduced to be the ambassadors of living the Smart Life were introduced. Yesterday, nine more student-athletes from the UAAP joined the Smart Elite family at Cali Burger at Century Mall, Makati City.

Joining San Beda’s Baser Amer, Perpetual’s Scottie Thompson, Arellano’s Jio Jalalon, Letran’s Rey Nambatac, Jose Rizal’s Tey Teodoro, Benilde’s Jonathan Grey, San Sebastian’s Bradwyn Guinto, Mapua’s Andretti Stevens, Emilio Aguinaldo’s Francis Munsayac, and Lyceum’s Joseph Gabayni are Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal, FEU’s Mac Belo, NU’s Gelo Alolino, UST’s Kevin Ferrer, DLSU’s Prince Rivero, UP’s Jett Manuel, Adamson’s Dawn Ochea, and UE’s Paul Varilla.

Smart Sports senior manager Epok Quimpo opened the launch by emphasizing the concept of living the Smart life. “The Smart Life is touching our passion points,” Quimpo opened. “This includes sports. The passion for sports is what we want Filipinos to experience across the nation. That is why we identified these UAAP standouts to help us in promoting the Smart Life.”

For the returning Jett Manuel, he felt honored to be a part of this elite group of student-athletes, especially since he sacrificed playing the game he loved for academics. “It’s a great honor to be back in UP and a greater honor to be part of this group,” he enthusiastically said. “Hopefully, I do better this season.”

Gilas Cadet standouts Kevin Ferrer and Mac Belo both stressed that being a student comes first before being an athlete. Ferrer said that “I have to focus on my studies first since basketball is not forever. I wake up extra early to study then head to training. Attend class in the morning and then get back to training.”

UAAP champion Gelo Alolino, on the other hand, trained harder this past off-season to try and make his alma mater prouder. “Nag train hard kami this off-season,” he quipped. And with the help of techonology he is able to keep track of his personal progress. “Ako dinodocument ko pa online ang development ko individually like sa Instagram.”

Prince Rivero, being the youngest amongst all 19 Smart Elite ambassadors, feels that there is pressure in being a Smart Elite ambassador. However, he brushes the pressure off in saying that he’ll do his best to represent what it is to be a model student-athlete.

Looking forward to the UAAP season, last season’s MVP Kiefer Ravena is expecting that this season will be tough. “It’s going to be a tough season because all teams are strong. We all know UP, FEU, NU and UST will be up there. Pati yung UP, UE, and Adamson lumakas. I’m looking forward to this being a great season,” Ravena declared.

Ravena closed that for all of these student-athletes they need to make a conscious effort in thinking before doing especially with the advent of social media. “We have to be smart in everything that we do.”

Epok Quimpo also emphasized that being an ambassador for Smart Sports would not hinder with the tight schedules of these student-athletes. “The first priority is their teams. Smart will support in terms of the other things that they can. We’ll probably invite them to some events, but we’ll make sure it won’t be in conflict with the teams. Smart will be here to support them but hindi namin sila gagalawin while the tournament is ongoing. Just so everyone knows, we just want to identify this group of young men for people to actually look at them. Ito talaga yung next generation of national, and hopefully international, athletes.”

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