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THEIR STORY

Know more about the early beginnings of our athletes, through the challenges and achievements that come along. 

Anfernee Lopena

He started playing basketball when he was younger since it was the first sport that led him to where he is now. His older brother noticed how fast he was whenever he ran during basketball games that’s why he suggested why not try track and field, you don’t have to use any equipments and you can train even if you’re barefoot. Even if there wasn’t any track and field sports in their school he would still join local competitions to be able to have records and get into a good university. As he continue to play and train for both sports he focused on athletics and waited for an opportunity to get into De La Salle College of St. Benilde as it was his goal and dream to become part of the track and field team. He first attended South Western University of Cebu unfortunately the athletics department was disbanded through that he asked his former teammates if there was any opportunity he can enter DLS-CSB he waited and finally a team member of his called him and said that their coach is willing to give him an opportunity and that there is a place for him in the team. He was able to train and later on become better to which led him become a part of the Philippine National Team for Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATFA) there he competed several games for local and international sporting events on a recent note the team won a Bronze medal for the last South East Asian Games qualifying them for the next following games.

Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz stated that it was through her curiosity that led her to weightlifting, she never realized how much she would like the sport until eventually she fell in love with it. She expressed her utmost frustrations and dissatisfactions regarding the sports program here in our country, she continues to firmly believe and give awareness to the government to reach out and help athletes in whatever needs they need to condition themselves pre and post competitions.  Hidilyn is the first athlete to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines in 20 years all thanks to her bravery and determination she was able to showcase a different sport rather than boxing and basketball into the country. Diaz’s win at the Olympics is a welcome relief after several of our athletes lost. On a much deeper level, however, her story also shows just how temporary failure is, and how far a person (and perhaps even a nation) can go if they move past it and keep on improving themselves.

Nelson Asuncion

Nelson Asunction is a professional coach of Philippine badminton at present. He started his career with badminton when he was very young boy of 17 years age. Unfortunately at the age of 21 years he stopped playing badminton because his parents were against this. After that he only used to see the matches in the clubs and this activity he continued for eight years when one day he viewed his previous batch mates playing badminton, Another amazing thing about the career of Nelson is that after remaining disconnected from the game for 8 years he get himself trained for every event and every tournament. He remained without international training. For such purpose he worked day and night because he wanted to regain his physical stamina which he had loosed during the days of aloofness from the game.Nelson started his career as a coach in 1985 when he became the founder of Valle Verde Badminton Youth Club. Here he started giving training to players according to international standards. As he was a part of the group of athletes sent out of Philippine for international training. There he had written his diary in which he kept all the information and record of his meetings with famous coaches. Thus after returning to home he started his diary as a base of national training of the players.

Alyssa Valdez

Alyssa Valdez started playing volleyball at the age of 12 with her older brothers, they had a simple life but with Alyssa’s innate talent and continuous perseverance in playing the sport she was scouted by University of Santo Tomas in her high school years and later scouted by Ateneo De Manila University to be the center of their team for UAAP but she then showed true sportsmanship and hard work during trainings and In collegiate games. Her collegiate career made an impact in Philippine Volleyball she was a roaring storm and that’s where she changed the game of Volleyball. She set a UAAP Women’s Volleyball record for the greatest number of points scored in one game with 35. She was this breath of fresh air that brought viewers and audience to be part of this amazing sport. It gave her the title of being the “Phenom” and “Baldo” (bagyo/typhoon)

Mika Reyes

Mika Reyes is an incredibly popular volleyball player known as a member of the De La Salle University volleyball team. She has twice been named champion with the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. She first began playing volleyball in her first year of high school at St. Scholastica’s College Manila. She was named Best Attacker at the 2013 PVF Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship and Most Valuable Player in the 2015 edition.  She won the 2014 Philippine National Games Best Blocker award, and was the 1st Best Middle Blocker in its 2015 edition. Mika also expressed how she wants to inspire everyone especially the youth in being involved more in sports and for us to realize that sports can be a way of inspiration and motivation. 

Francesca Altamonte

Francesca Altamonte, the team captain of the Philippine softball team (PH    Blu Girls), started playing softball when she was just 10 years old but focussed more on playing baseball. During her college days, she decided to play softball again competitively for the Ateneo Softball Team and her position was catcher. She is still playing as the C/IF or catcher in the PH Blu Girls team. According to her, a program that was established back in 2014 helped them grew into a better team wherein the Filipino – American players joined the PH Softball team.

Ronelon Pagkaliwagan

Coach Ron Pagkaliwagan of RP Blu Girls or our Philippine National Women’s Softball Team’s pitching coach, a former national team standout, started his professional career back in 1992. He also became part of the coaching department of the China’s Junior team, as a pitching coach, for 5 years. Coach Ron and his team practice with the men’s softball team to make an advantage for their team because he believes that it prepares the team for stronger opponents.

Kevin Alas

Before transferring to Letran, Kevin first played in an organized basketball in Las Piñas, he was in grade 5 back then. He then, continuously played with Letran until his college days but he decided to join Gilas Pilipinas during his final year in college, and became a role player of the team that led to win a gold medal in the 2013 SEA Games.

Chris Tiu

Chris Tiu started playing basketball when he was 5 years old. Like how everybody else started, he played basketball in their village together with his neighbours. Unlike other players, his goal in playing basketball is to reach the team’s objective, not scoring. During the pioneer Gilas team days, Chris tiu and 10 other players represented the country straight out of college, that’s why many doubted them. He stayed in Gilas from 2008 to 2012 and started playing in PBA. 

Alvin Patrimonio

Alvin Patrimonio currently holds several PBA records up to this date after retiring in the year 2004. He played with the Purefoods franchise for his entire career in PBA with five championships. Patrimonio represented the Philippines 4 times by playing basketball. Even though his height is a bit shorter compared to other players with the same position as his, he still managed to be efficient on defensive and offensive sides. For most fans of the PBA, Patrimonio is arguably the second best player of all time, behind the well known player, Robert Jaworski.