The Two Paolos: Catching up with UAAP Football stars Paolo Bugas and Paolo Salenga

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 17, 2016 06:23 PM
Catching up with two of UAAP Football's biggest stars
"Siyempre, honored kami na irerepresent namin yung country, kahit na sa school, magkakalaban kami, pero isang bansa yung pinag-lalaban namin," - Paolo Salenga

On Thursday, Far Eastern University team captain and former UAAP MVP Paolo Bugas will go head to head with National University team captain Paolo Salenga when their squads meet for the first time in UAAP Season 78.

This isn’t the first time that these two went at each other, and it won’t be the last either.

They may be rivals on the pitch in the UAAP, but for the most part during the collegiate offseason, Bugas and Salenga are teammates, and this past offseason, the two competed alongside each other quite a lot.

Both Bugas and Salenga were selected to be part of the Under-23 team that represented the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in Thailand, and the two Paolos are also teammates on local club Global FC, which competed in the AFC Cup in early 2015.

With Global FC, Bugas and Salenga play alongside some of the country’s top booters, including Azkals standouts Misagh Bahadoran, Daisuke Sato, Amani Aguinaldo, Matthew Hartmann, and Patrick Deyto, and this atmosphere has helped them become two of the country’s best young football players today.

Bugas himself, was called up to the Azkals squad back in late 2015 for a friendly against the Maldives, and a World Cup Qualifiers match against Uzbekistan.

ABS-CBN Sports caught up with the two Paolos before the start of UAAP Season 78, and asked them about their experiences in international competition, the lessons that they learn, and if they use their being teammates to get the better of one another once the UAAP starts.

 

Anong pakiramdam na, as college players, na-experience niyo na din yung mag-compete sa ibang bansa against clubs and mag-compete against veterans?

Paolo Salenga: Siguro tumaas yung tiwala namin sa sarili namin kasi na-expose kami sa international, so mas-confident kami mag-laro sa college league.

Paolo Bugas: Tsaka yung teammates namin, mga high-level players, marami kaming natutunan sa kanila and yung competition sa abroad, malaking bagay kasi high-level yung tournaments doon, and yun nga, tumaas yung tiwala namin sa sarili namin, tulad ng sabi niya, and excited kami mag-laro this season and ma-apply yung natutunan namin.

Mag-kakampi kayo sa Under-23, so this time, imbes na schools niyo yung pangalan na dala niyo, dala niyo yung pangalan ng buong bansa. Gaano kalaking karangalan para sa inyo yun?

PS: Pride kasi ‘yun eh. Siyempre, honored kami na irerepresent namin yung country, kahit na sa school, magkakalaban kami, pero isang bansa yung pinag-lalaban namin.

PB: Sabi niya nga, pride, tsaka para din yun sa mga taong naniniwala sa mga players na pumunta doon sa SEAGames and sa Singapore. Malaking bagay ‘yun sa amin, sa family namin, sa school namin, and para sa bansa, kaya play for your country, as long as naglalaro ka sa sport mo.

Ano yung pinaka-malaking pagkakaiba ng competition sa college at sa U-23, sa International, sa Global, sa Azkals?

PS: Mas professional sa international, kasi halos puro professional players na yung nandoon eh.

PB: Tsaka more experienced sila, and yung level ng competition, mataas talaga, so pressured kami as college players, pero hindi naman kami basta-basta nagpapatalo sa mga professional players.

Ano yung mga lessons at experiences na nakukuha niyo from international competition? And paano niyo magagamit yung mga natutunan niyo sa international competitions sa college level?

PS: I-shshare namin sa teammates namin sa college yung mga natutunan namin sa international.

PB: Professionalism din, kasi makikita mo yung difference sa college teams tsaka sa professional teams.

Karamihan sa mga kakampi niyo at nakakalaban niyo sa college level, sigurado dream nila na makalaro yung mga kakampi niyo sa Global FC. Masasabi niyo ban a blessed kayo, that you get to do that on a regular basis?

PS: Yes, blessed kami, pero hindi naman kasi ganun lang kadali yun basta-basta, siyempre nag-hard work at sacrifice kami…

PB: …pinag-hirapan namin talaga, tsaka wala namang imposible kung gugustuhin mo eh. Kung tatrabahuin mo, may makukuha ka talaga. Ang masasabi lang namin sa kanila, as long as gugustuhin nila maglaro, sagarin na nila yung dream nila.

Since magka-kampi nga kayo sa Under-23 tsaka sa Global, pag-nagkakalaban kayo sa college, nilalaglag niyo ba yung isa’t-isa sa mga kakampi niyo?

PS: (Laughing) Sa akin, hindi, kasi team naman kami maglaro e, so magtutulungan na lang kami, papag-aralan namin yung kalaban namin…

PB: ...tsaka sa gameplan din kasi yun eh. 

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