Christopher dela Peña of Letran Aqua Knights swims past in a butterfly stroke. Photo by Luis Alfonso Tamondong.
Letran’s Aqua Knights ended the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 swimming competition with another subpar campaign. The team placed only sixth in the overall ranking during the five-day competition from September 6 to 10 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium swimming center.
Team captain Christopher Dela Peña, who was part of the top eight swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter individual medley, led the team in their campaign. However, the team’s standout was not satisfied with his achievements saying, “Hindi lang kasi finals ‘yung goal ko eh, medal talaga ‘yung gusto ko.”
Dela Peña cites lack of preparation led to the team’s downfall. He also rues the team’s late start of training and practices as a vital aspect of their bitter stint. “Kasi mag-start kami ng training kung kailan pasukan na, samantalang ‘yung ibang school after season training na agad,” he expressed.
Aqua Knights mainstay Jorel Lacson supports his team captain’s claim regarding the dismal stint. But Lacson added that most of the swimmers are graduating students who missed most practices due to class schedules and other academic obligations.
“Mahirap ‘din yung time management kasi halos lahat ng senior [players] eh fourth year na,” Lacson explained. “Yung schedule talaga ng classes, laging gabi ang classes so madami talagang hindi nakakatraining,” he added.
The team was five points short behind fifth seed Lyceum of the Philippines University. Still, even with the team’s disappointing performance, Dela Peña and Lacson sees improvement as the team showed more grit and passion compared to last season.
Meanwhile, the juniors swimming team fell to seventh overall after finishing third last season, while the Lady Aqua Knights finished ninth place.