By Alex Tianco
Yana Bautista was set to play for the Lady Eagles this coming season, and many believed she would become an immediate contributor to the team. Tragically, she passed away last July 23, 2020.
During last Saturday’s episode of So She Did!, presented by SMART Sports, hosted by Trina Guytingco and her sister, Martie Bautista, her former teammates and coaches came together to discuss what could’ve been Yana’s potential impact in the UAAP.
“I remember in high school, we had conversations like, ‘Who among us would we dread the most to go against?’ And we would all say, ‘Yana’,” recalled her former teammate, Bethany Talbot.
Talbot and Kamea Mangrobang, both currently playing for the UP women’s football team, believe that Yana would have been a difficult opponent to face. They noted that her aggressiveness on both ends of the field would have made it hard for any player to go against her.
“Not only can she defend really well, but she can really attack and make good crosses. That’s really a huge threat for everyone, because a defender who can really attack and defend is really gonna be a huge threat. It’s really gonna be an impact on that team,” said Mangrobang.
KC Zalamea, an incoming Lady Eagle and former teammate, shared that Yana’s mindset as an athlete was on another level. She explained that her love and attitude towards the sport would have helped her consistently get better in the game and strengthen her team.
“Being an athlete just comes naturally to her. It’s just what she wanted to do. She wanted to get better. She really wanted us, our batch, to really have an impact and help Ateneo win games in UAAP,” said Zalamea.
Her former coaches, Bob Manlulo, current head coach for the women’s football team of Ateneo and Miriam High School, and Jen Ariel, head coach of Malaya FC, credited Yana’s versatility as a player. To add, they had full confidence as well that her ability to play multiple positions would have transitioned well to the collegiate level.
“What’s nice is that Yana is a utility player. Just like what other players say, she could play wing, she could play striker as well, and she has one more power — she could play as a goalkeeper. We really do that in case our 2 goalkeepers are injured, she’s our third option. So she’s really a utility player,” said Manlulo.
There is no doubt that Yana was an exceptional player and teammate. She may be gone, but her name and legacy will live on.
“She’s forever gone. Pero alam ko nandito naman siya sa puso natin kahit wala na siya,” said Ariel.
Watch the entire Yana Bautista tribute episode of So She Did! right here: