Cristina Arcega, Lance Dionisio, News, PUP Campus Journalists
Student athletes from Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Lyonas Taruc de Leon and Juliuz Rosh Dela Cruz are bound to represent the Philippines in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Cup to be held on November 26 to December 4 in Auckland, New Zealand.
De Leon and Dela Cruz, both second year students taking up Bachelor of Physical Education, together with the RP Blu Boys dominated and finished as the second placer team of the 11th Men’s Softball Asian Cup convened in Kochi, Japan last September 3-7, 2022.
Machinery behind success
In an interview with PUP Campus Journalists, De Leon and Dela Cruz mentioned that they are recently rustling up at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. “We are preparing our bodies, skills, and minds to build as well as improve our team chemistry, confidence, and mental toughness for us to be prepared for the World Cup this coming November,” Dela Cruz added.
Notwithstanding the victory, Iskolar ng Bayan representatives also said that being student-athletes, there are deterrents to fully oversee their time between training and academics. Furthermore, the hours to spend with their families has been slender considering the demands they need to render for training.
“‘Yon pong mga magulang namin namimiss po namin dahil po minsan 1 month [w]alang pong uwian at [may] injury po,” De Leon uttered.
Now that the 19-year-old Juliuz Dela Cruz and 20-year-old Lyonas de Leon are on the threshold of vying another international playing field, they propound their success to their parents whom they shared tranche of their accomplishments as student-athletes.
Both young athletes expressed admiration for their fathers, whom they regard as role models who serve as a life coach, mentor, and friend, bringing out the best in them and inspiring them to strive in this field.
“Hats off to him, because he is the one who struggled for me to reach this dream situation. There are times that he suffered from injuries in our practice, but he never stopped training me despite those hard times,” said Dela Cruz.
Obstacles build up ourselves
When asked about balancing time between training and academic responsibilities as one of the main struggles of numerous student-athletes, Dela Cruz answered ‘time management, discipline and focus’ as a key to ensure a satisfactory performance among his commitments.
“Gumagawa po ako ng sched. At hangga’t maari po tinatapos ko na po agad ang mga gawain sa school at nanghihingi din po ako minsan ng tulong sa mga teammates ko po,” de Leon stated.
They also gave credits to their classmates and friends, who took their time to extend a helping hand as well as their professors who genuinely understood and generously provided considerations.
“You should never ever give up. Hard times are just an obstacle in our journey to success. These obstacles were made to build up ourselves while we are reaching our dream,” Dela Cruz articulated as he imparted the most significant lesson he learned as an athlete.
The softball players also revealed they also deal with internal conflicts and self-battles, but that they take adequate approaches to refine their skills and boost their morale.
Hit the top
As a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan, the two left a message for other students who aspire to become professional athletes as well.
“Train hard, laging dumulog kay God, at enjoy every moment kasi habang nag-e-enjoy tayo sa mga ginagawa natin nakakalimutan natin ang pagod at sakit at mas mabilis ang ating magiging improvement,” de Leon advised.
Meanwhile, Dela Cruz highlighted the importance of having faith and belief in oneself to achieve greater heights in spite of the hindrances that will come on their way and challenges they may face.
Game schedules can be accessed here. Get the latest updates from the official website of the Men’s Softball World Cup.
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