#SquadGoals: The history-making volleyball hunks of CSB
Barry Viloria on Feb 25, 2017 04:15 PM
Who’s the funniest Blazer? The smartest? The resident heartbreaker? We play who’s whom with the newest heartthrobs of the #NCAA92 hard court! (Photos courtesy of de Guzman, Arda, and Orian)
It was a promise that each of the boys had taken seriously once they stepped into the halls of College of St. Benilde (CSB) as part of its men’s volleyball varsity team. Never mind that their squad hasn’t gotten this close to the trophy—until last February 7 when the Blazers exhibited their strength, teamwork, and winning attitude at the conclusion of the NCAA Season 92 men’s volleyball finals. The former underdogs swept and ultimately dethroned the Perpetual Help Altas at the best-of-three series to bag its first title.
“Masaya, sobra! Nag-get together kami, kumain and uminom nang konti tapos uwi na din,” explains middle blocker Mark Jethro Orian how the Blazers celebrated their historic win. “Napagod kasi during preparation for championship. (I remember) after the last point, lahat kami napahiga dahil sa pagod and napaiyak dahil lahat kami, pare-parehas ng pinagdaanan at pinaghirapan to get the championship.”
Days later, the Blazers found themselves using up their post-championship euphoria to get through “finals” at school, other academic requirements, and media guestings here and there. But it’s just part of what now makes a champion, the boys claim. MVP and the team’s top scorer Johnvic de Guzman himself has bore witness to the hardships they all underwent under Coach Arnold Laniog before the season. Reason: They’ve always had this one goal, which was to make room for that trophy inside their athletics department.
“For me, training this season was the hardest because early on, we had that goal and strong commitment to win the championship,” the outgoing varsity hero de Guzman says. “We were practicing twice a day, sometimes seven times a week pa. It feels great to graduate with a trophy that I can leave for CSB.”
Seconds Isaah Arda about their intense training, “It was legit! Even if you are really tired, you won't be able to sit down and relax a bit. That's it! There were a lot of drills to help and improve your physical condition!”
We already know how the members of the CSB Blazers work over the net, but how are they at it as friends? We recently chatted them up about their bromantic bond and life as certified heartthrobs once the court lights come off!
How has life been since the championship?
Isaah Arda (IA): Back to reality—study, of course! Ha ha! It feels weird (being a champ) and I still can't believe that we won the championship! That was amazing!
What do you think about being newly hailed NCAA heroes—and heartthrobs?
Johnvic de Guzman (JDG): Nahihiya pa rin po. Because I’m not used to it. Baka lang po malabo mata nila! Ha ha!
Mark Jethro Orian (MJO): Lagi ko lang sinasabi na hindi kasi I’m just a simple person. Simple lang, ganon!
How do you Blazers interact with your fans?
MJO: Nakikipag-usap sa chat, ganon. Pero bihira kasi medyo hectic sched so walang masyadong time.
JDG: I make it a point to chat with them daily sa Facebook!
IA: Chatting with them through my social media accounts.
How do you bond as a team?
MJO: Kumakain kami ng sabay-sabay especially the night before game!
JDG: Kain. Walang katapusang food trip! Ha ha!
IA: Eat together and sometimes we drink.
How close are you with Coach Arnold?
JDG: Very close. I consider coach my second father!
MJO: Sila yung magulang namin ditto, so for example may problema kami, sinasabi namin sa kanila.
IA: We hang out and get together sometimes!
Who's the most emotional Blazer?
IA: Our setter Mark Deximo. He is a big guy but when he's mad or pissed off, he cries most of the time!
JDG: Jethro Orian.
MJO: Ako, kasi mainitin ulo ko and maramdamin. Sorry! Ha ha!
JDG: Kevin Magsino.
MJO: Si Kevin kasi ang dami nyang naiisip!
IA: He always loves to joke around!
MJO: Matthiew Daming, palong-palo sya mag-English. Ha ha!
JDG: Ajian Dy!
IA: Ajian. He is really a competitive person especially when it comes to academics!
MJO: Di ko alam, eh. Halos lahat naman kayang magdala ng damit kahit binili sa (Divisoria) or hindi branded. Ha ha!
JDG: Me. Ha ha!
IA: Me also! Because I have a brother who loves fashion and he teaches me how to be fashionable and also my wife to be. She teaches me how to wear proper attire—mapa ordinary man or formal!
The biggest bully?
MJO: Si Dex po. Before, lagi nya kami inaaway lahat. Ha ha!
IA: Jethro! Mapang-asar pero mabilis mainis. Ha ha!
The ultimate heartthrob?
JDG: Francis Basilan.
MJO: Syempe, Johnvic! No question! Ha ha!
IA: Johnvick And Ajian!
MJO: Yung heartthrob, syempre. Ha ha!
JDG: Wala po. Loverboy kaming lahat! Ha ha!
The fitness buff?
MJO: Me, kasi mabigat ako magbuhat and lagi nag e-extra especially sa upper body.
JDG: Matthiew Daming.
IA: Johnvic and Owen Bacani. They have this kind of "beach bod or athlete bod!" Ha ha! They are fit!
The most kuripot?
JDG: Kevin Magsino, hindi siya naglalabas pag may team activities, laging walang pera
IA: Daming. He came from a wealthy family but he is kuripot! Ha ha! Just kidding!