AFTER A SUDDEN halt due to the pandemic, the San Beda University’s (SBU) Red Tracksters made its return to the track at the Philsports Oval, Ultra Pasig competing in the Track and Field Championship of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) 98th season, April 19 and 20. 

Setting themselves ready for the next NCAA season, Coach Giovanni Andaya, the newly-appointed head coach of the Red Trackter’s team, mentioned the difficulties of having a limited preparation with the team. 

Unang-una adaptation sa players kung paano nila i-adapt ang culture kasi nasanay sila sa lumang culture,” said Coach Giovanni, stating how the team struggled in having to adapt to a new culture and system of play under his tutelage. 

With the competition’s comeback from a long hiatus in the NCAA, the team’s perspectives were in a bit of conflict. “Kailangan mo pang himay-himayin sa isip nila na kailangan nila mag-perform for San Beda for the incoming NCAA season 98” said coach Coach Giovanni, as he shared on how the team had difficulty coming back from a long break due to the pandemic. 

On the other hand, Ian Agias, Team Captain for the Red Tracksters, expressed that coming back to the field and competing for San Beda elicited a tremendous sense of pride. “We have been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to display our talents and represent our institution,” he added. 

During their preparations, Agias mentioned that in their one and half month training, the team encountered challenges with miscommunications, personal struggles, and academic obligations. Nonetheless, recognizing the efforts of their coach and coaching staff, Agias shared that the team was able to pull through. 

Despite the difficulties in their preparation coming into the season, the competition for the tracksters did not go in vain, as the team won two bronze medals in the 800m track-and-field and javelin throw. 

Coach Giovanni proudly shared that the trackster’s young team consisting of freshmen students performed well in their first NCAA competition. “Highlight ko dito is yung 800m which is second year student, first year of playing, na nakakuha ng bronze medal,” he emphasized as the competition was against South East Asian Games representatives. 

Meanwhile, for Agias, the season’s highlight was with the collective commitment of the squad in the rigorous training and preparation, and their successes and victories. “We have persisted and collaborated closely as a team resulting in an ascent from eight to fifth place,” shared Agias noting the team’s unwavering spirit and dedication for self-improvement. 

Ang motto ko kasi ‘I am a winner, I am a winner’” said Coach Giovanni, in emphasizing the learning he had hoped for the tracksters going into the season. 

Coach Giovanni also implored the team to build honesty and loyalty, that they may be able to create a good and healthy team, treating each other as players, friends, and family. 

For their part, Agias expressed his utmost appreciation to the coaching staff for their invaluable support and guidance, extending his gratitude to San Beda’s management team and providing them with an opportunity to participate in the season. He also extended his gratitude to the Bedan community for their unwavering support and encouragement. 

Moreover, as the head coach, Coach Giovanni expressed his joy for being part of the Bedan community, and excitement in the challenge presented by the team, as well as for the opportunity to introduce himself in the track and field community. 

(with Gian Marcel Chiu)


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