CHAMPS. Letran badminton men's seniors bagged the championship last NCAA Season 92. File photo from Mykee Jimenez
The Letran Shuttlers will defend their championship title in the upcoming NCAA Season 93 badminton tournament.
Though the Shuttlers may seem to be lying low for a while after reclaiming the coveted title last season, team captain Nephtali Pineda debunked the myth. In fact, the team managed to train even during the summer break just to be in shape for the upcoming season. Pineda admits that a strong competitive attitude keeps them motivated during practices.
"Mine-maintain namin ang aming competitiveness para pag-dating ng training conditioned pa din kami," said Pineda.
After the departure of his brother and former team captain Nathaniel due to graduation, the younger Pineda says his duty as team leader includes gathering his teammates for off-the-court bondings. “Kinakausap ko din mga teammates ko para kahit wala 'yung coach namin may bonding kami,” he said.
While all the teams are hungrier for the crown, Pineda believes that Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) remains as one of the teams to look out for this season. Notably, the two teams previously clashed in a do-or-die championship match last year when Letran pulled off a come-from-behind win to reclaim the crown they last won in Season 90.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Joseph Sabarre and Pineda himself, both senior players, are expected to lead the team this year.
"Ma-dedefend namin yung title. Tiwala lang sa isa't isa, tiwala lang sa players," Pineda bared.
"'Yung support ng school syempre kailangan namin, at 'yung pag-cheer sa amin kung saan kami nabo-boost,” he added.
The tournament will start on September 4 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. Letran will face off against San Sebastian College and Jose Rizal University in the opening day.