UAAP 81 Football: Former UP captains Valmayor, Gadia urge today's struggling Maroons to keep learning and keep improving
Santino Honasan on Mar 15, 2019 06:18 PM
Former UP Fighting Maroons team captains Jinggoy Valmayor and Daniel Gadia urge the Season 81 UP Men's Football Team to continue to keep learning and keep improving as they try to turn their season around.
The University of the Philippines men's football program has not finished outside the top three of the tournament since UAAP Season 72, and since then, they have gone on to win the men's title four times which includes two title runs in the last three seasons.
It's safe to say that the Diliman-based football program is used to success.
Coming into the 81st season of the UAAP, the defending champion Fighting Maroons were easily considered the favorites to recapture the title, and after their first two matches, wins over NU and Ateneo, it looked as if they were primed to steamroll through the competition.
Then, for the first time in over four years, UP suffered back-to-back losses, at the hands of DLSU and FEU.
While it's still early in the season the Fighting Maroons find themselves fighting not for the top spot in the standings, but rather to be part of the top four.
Last Thursday, the Maroons managed to snap out of their losing skid by battling UST to a draw, and in attendance were a pair of former Fighting Maroons stars in Jinggoy Valmayor and Daniel Gadia.
Valmayor, who played from Season 73 to Season 77, was part of the last UP team that captured back-to-back championships in Seasons 73 and 74. Throughout his career, Valmayor was one of the most feared strikers in the league, and graduated as the team captain in Season 77.
Taking his place as the leader on the pitch was Gadia, who debuted for the Fighting Maroons in Season 75. Gadia helped the Fighting Maroons to the title in Season 78, while also taking home MVP honors.
ABS-CBN Sports was able to catch up with these two former team captains and asked they shared their thoughts on the current situation of the UP Fighting Maroons.
ABS-CBN Sports: Kayong dalawa, coming froma winning cultuer, being former captains and being able to bring championships to UP, ano lang yung nakikita niyo na kulang or kailangang i-address with the UP Fighting Maroons this season?
Daniel Gadia: For me, wala namang kulang, needs improvement lang sa mga maliliit na details ng game, pero for me for me yung two straight na losses - and sabi mo nga na galing kami sa winning culture - additional [part] lang of the way the team works, same as them. For me hindi lang nabibigay sa kanila yung hard work nila ngayon and maybe, same as us, after nung hard work namin, nagbigay din naman yun ng winning sa amin. So for me, kailangan lang nila i-handle yung ups and downs ng football and ng outside life siyempre.
Jinggoy Valmayor: Nung first game, okay naman, yung game ngayon [against UST], medyo lax, hindi naman sobrang lax, pero hindi namin naramdaman sa labas, as an audience, yung gutom to win, not as compared nung last year or past seasons na sabi mo nga, coming from a winning culture, pero losing is part of the game naman, and sana magising sila and mabalik yung winning mentality ng team, tsaka siyempre, heads up lang sila ngayon, marami pa naman games eh.
AS: Siyempre, being former team captains, former standouts ng UP and dahil nga nakapag-dala kayo ng championships sa UP, tinitingala kayo nitong mga players ngayon, and they look at you like their seniors. Ano lang yung mga advice or payo na binibigay or maibibigay niyo for them ngayon?
DG: Handle it lang with a passion and love sa sport siyempre. Yung games dito, parang buhay na din nila yan siyempre. Sometimes, nakikita ko naman na yung iba consistent, yung iba ups and downs din yung game, pero group yan eh, kailangan nila i-handle yun together, as a group. Outside, maybe yung problems nila outside sana matulungan din nila yung teammates nila na kung may outside problem and inside problem sa field. For me, they just need to enjoy football, to enjoy outside life, and handle it with passion, kunyari magkamali ka, move on lang, move on and keep on improving. Yun lang yung advice ko sa kanila, just keep on working on the little aspects of the game and keep on improving.
JV: Siguro, kung ano yung mga natututunan nila every game, kahit talo o panalo, kailangan nila i-check as a team kung ano yung pagkukulang nila. Kahit panalo, or talo, makinig lang kay Coach Anto, kung ano yung instructions niya, kasi pinag-aralan niya yan lahat eh, yung kalaban, kung paano lalaruin, pati execution na lang as a team, yung mental, yung emotional, yung fitness nandiyan naman eh. Yun nga, yung sabi ni Gadia, kung paano nila i-handle as a single person and as a team, kasi kung matalo sila, talo silang lahat eh. Learn lang every game, step by step kasi malayo pa naman eh.
AS: May mga ilang taon na din since huli kayong naglaro for the UAAP. Para sa inyo, ano yung pinaka-namimiss niyo about tournament?
JV: Yung fighting for school pride, school spirit. Sa professional league wala kasing ganun eh, it’s all about the team sa professional eh, pero sa UAAP, yung pinaglalaban mo ay yung school mo. Kahit wala kang makukuha, trophy lang, okay na yun eh, basta maging proud sila sayo, yun yung nakaka-miss, yung paglalaro for the school talaga.
DG: School pride din, and yung binigay sa akin na kultura ng mga seniors ko way back, and yung pinag-samahan namin ng mga teammates ko nung nandito pa kami. Para na kasi silang family ko eh, nandiyan sila para sa akin when nag-start ako ng football sa UP, sa college. Yun yung pag-sasamahan, kaya din ako laging bumabalik sa team, lalo na pag off-season makiki-training ako, and lalo na pag may games, pinipilit namin namin, kahit na galing kami sa training kanina, yun yung samahan talaga. School pride, pero for me, it’s being with the group eh, with the UP Men’s Football Team, kasi yun nagbigay sa akin ng hope sa mga bagay, kaya ang laki ng utang na loob ko sa team.