Three games, two wins and one draw.
The De La Salle Green Archers have enjoyed an unbeaten start to their UAAP Season 78 Men’s Football Tournament campaign. A constant in La Salle’s unbeaten start is #15, Jed Diamante, who has started all three games in central midfield. He is also the third Diamante who has played for La Salle after his older brothers Gio and Gelo.
Before Season 78 commenced, Diamante was mentioned to be one of the key recruits for the Green Archers. Diamante accepted that it is an added motivation to perform well because of the hype but that there was a bigger picture than individual performance. “I mean I just really want to help the team win. Gusto ko i-angat yung football into higher levels especially dito sa Philippines. I just want to do my best to help the team win every game.”
Diamante’s first game for the Green Archers was against archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles. Momentum was with the Green Archers late in the game after the Blue Eagles failed to convert a penalty. Fans then noticed that he urged the La Salle crowd to cheer louder. Not bad for a rookie in his first game.
The youngest Diamante simply stated that he just tried to make every advantage count in the game against Ateneo. “I’m just doing everything I can para matulungan ko pa talaga yung team kasi I want to be there on the not only on the pitch but also mentally para sa teammates ko. I want to give them that extra motivation kasi hindi namin yan makukuha sa ibang tao. Amin na talaga yan. In any way I can help them, binibigay ko po talaga.”
One of Diamante’s noteworthy contributions so far for La Salle was his goal which sealed an important 1-0 win over the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons. “I was just the one who took hit the ball, put it in the net pero yung effort talaga was yung buong team” was what he mustered when asked about that goal.
As one of the three central midfielders who has started every game, Diamante has had to be consistently good due to how integral the area is to winning a game. “It’s a really tough role kasi you really have to be the ones who’ll control the game talaga and buti naman po inaalalayan po ako ng mga seniors namin na kasama ko po sa midfield at sa defense”, Diamante said.
Throughout the interview, Diamante repeatedly stated the importance of teamwork over individual success. Key to that mindset had been the Green Archers’ team spirit. He explained that he and his teammates have a strong bond on the off the pitch regardless of seniority. “Bilib po ako sa mga seniors po namin kasi they’re really there to help us kasi we’re the rookies. They’re trying to give us tips on how to cope up, how to give our best and I’m really happy with us rookies also kasi we’re able to pick up something rin from then and dahil dun parang nagtutulungan kami para matulungan yung team to win.”