UAAP Season 78 Track and Field MVP Clinton Kingsley Bautista is hoping their event will receive the same kind of attention like the mainstream sports amid the rising clamor for quality sports coverage in the country.
“Ang gusto nga namin makilala din yung track and field sa Pilipinas. Ang gusto namin ma-televise din yung track and field sa UAAP,” Bautista told FOX Sports during the Dare to Dream Concert in the UAAP Opening Ceremony last Saturday night. “Kaso yun nga hindi masyadong nae-engganyo kaya medyo mababa yung [interest sa] athletics dito sa Pilipinas.”
The MVP pointed out the country’s lack of advanced facilities as one of the reasons why track and field has yet to make an impact in the Philippines.
“Siguro dito sa Pilipinas yung facilities natin kulang tayo kaya medyo nahihirapan tayo sa pag-angat ng athletics,” he added.
Bautista steered the Far Eastern University men’s track and field team to its sixth consecutive title last season as the winningest university in the event, claiming their 24th title overall in the men’s division.
The sprinter recalled their tough battle with this year’s host UST, as they raced for the pole position during the opening days of tournament.
“Merong pressure lalo na yung UST mabigat naming kalaban last season kaya medyo nahirapan din kami nung una. Of course we handled the pressure,” he said.
“Lagi ko silang sinasabihan na pahalagahan nila yung laro nila. Lagi silang magfocus, babawi kami sa third day na laro, kaya ayun [nakuha namin yung title].”
For the Tarlac native, FEU’s formula to its sixth consecutive title is the Tamaraw’s work ethic and family bond in and outside the field.
“Wala naman kaming sikreto, siguro yung teamwork ng isa’t isa. Nagtatratuhan kami parang pamilya,” he said.
Asked who’s the biggest threat to their seventh straight title bid, the incoming senior answered UST and the De La Salle University, but promised to give their competitors a good challenge come the Track and Field event in the second semester.
“Sobrang pressure kasi marami ngang nawala sa amin, anim yung senior na nawala, kaya mabigat yung pressure.”
“Ang masasabi ko lang good luck, train well para maganda ang kakalabasan ng UAAP. Bibigyan din namin silang magandang laban.” – By John Chester Fajardo
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