Sports LSGH and DLSZ merge, make UAAP history
Sports LSGH and DLSZ merge, make UAAP history
LSGH and DLSZ merge, make UAAP history
April 1, 2020
April 1, 2020

The UAAP Board recently announced that both De La Salle – Santiago Zobel (DLSZ) and La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) can represent the University in the juniors division of the tournament. Surprisingly, no contentions were raised by anyone from the Board when this decision was made; unanimously, everyone agreed to such an arrangement. 

Senator Pia Cayetano, a known advocate of athletes rights, had been pushing for the merge of the two squads. “This will be beneficial for the growth of our future national athletes from [LSGH] and [DLSZ], I have been pushing for this to happen––the future of our national team is looking positive,” the lawmaker mentions.

DLSU Chancellor Br. Bernard Oca FSC was delighted with the decision, being an alumnus of LSGH and the President of DLSZ. “We are very welcoming of this change in the system, and I’m very thankful that we get to be part of this historic moment. We have been pushing for the One La Salle system and finally, it’s slowly becoming a reality,” Oca expresses.

Over the years, the two La Salle schools have been going head-to-head, vying to be the designated representatives in the juniors division for DLSU. Now that they have been allowed to merge, the Green-and-White will now face new problems––sharing the training grounds, deciding on the lineup, and proving which school has the most dudeparechongs.

Adjustment period

LSGH is situated in the heart of the National Capital Region: San Juan City. Meanwhile, DLSZ is located at the southmost part of the metro in Muntinlupa City. Given the distance between the schools, questions have been raised over how the merged teams will now train.

The answer is simple; they train through video calls on weekdays, and because they have merged, there will be more funds allocated to rent Mall of Asia (MoA) Arena. Emmanuel Calanog, director of the Office of Sports Development (OSD), explains this arrangement, “Traveling from north to south would take up too much time and effort on the athletes’ part, and it would be just a waste of money, so [it would be] better to just use Facetime.” 

Coaches from both schools are deeply excited to try this innovative way of training. 

“We already booked MoA Arena for the upcoming weekends, so the kids can already have a feel for what it’s going to be like when they step in the senior division,” Calanog adds. The OSD and coaches also developed a schedule to maximize the training area to cover multiple sports—volleyball and basketball on Saturday mornings; judo and taekwondo in the afternoon; and Sundays for all other sports such as futsal, chess, and athletics. Calanog ensured that the safety of the athletes would be their top concern.

Same goal, different method

“When finalizing the lineup, they’ll just have to play bato-bato-pik. Whoever wins gets a spot in the lineup,” Calanog discusses, with athletes from both schools already questioning how they can earn their spot in the final roster. Green Archer Aljun Melecio agrees with the method Calanog will be using in selecting the players to field, reasoning, “I think naman like, it’s fair naman on the athletes’ part. Doon palang you’ll learn na like parang, you win some, and you lose some.”The bato-bato-pik contest will be happening as soon as possible in order to finalize the teams for Season 83.

However, Melecio also has some reservations on bato-bato-pik. “The Zobel people are like parang the more dudeparechongs between the two schools for one reason—they don’t play bato-bato-pik. They never learned how to play it, because it’s like you know, hassle,” the former DLSZ player confesses.

Amid all the confusion and changes to their training sessions and team rosters, one thing remains sure for both of the squads—the goal to win the overall championship in the UAAP.

NCAA Season 94 Most Valuable Player Joel Cagulangan lends insight into how much Animo spirit the young squads will be bringing to the competition. “La Salle will definitely claim the basketball championship again in the juniors division. I believe that the two teams have what it takes, after all we’re all so g to win,” the former LSGH standout mentions.