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Bacolod City, PhilippinesSaturday, September 3, 2011
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Fernandez to
athletes: Study first

Stressing that desire, discipline and dedication were his guide to reach the apex of his career, retired professional basketball player Teodorico “Boyet” Fernandez urged student athletes to prioritize their studies in his message during the opening of the NOPSSCEA 2011 Season at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum.

Remembering his varsity days in the NOPSSCEA as ball player for University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in high school and skipper for Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod Eagles in college, Fernandez, a registered nurse, said sports is not forever and every athlete should have back-up plans.

“This is where the importance of having a degree comes in,” he said, adding that student athletes should make sports a vehicle to mold their character and become professionals in the fields they choose.

He recalled the days when he has to leave his basketball practice at least 15 minutes early to report on time for his nursing class at the CSA-B, and the time he has to run from the hospital, where he reports on duty as a student nurse, to the CSA-B gym to train with the Eagles.

Fernandez did not forget to thank all his local coaches from the inter-barangay in Bacolod City and in Valladolid town where he grew up, to UNO-R high school and CSA-B, especially, coach Diego Isidro who attended the NOPSSCEA opening yesterday to hear his former player deliver his speech.

“I had that burning desire to be a Registered Nurse and the best basketball players that I could be. I set a standard of discipline to myself that even if nobody would watch over me, I would stick to,” Fernandez recalled of his playing days as a CSA-B Eagle.

He also reminded the student athletes that real discipline is “the ability to accomplish what you have set to help you become a better student, athlete, or a professional”, underscoring that discipline is “doing the right thing at the right time.”

Also delivering her message during the opening rites was NOPSSCEA president Rosario de Guzman, who said that this year’s competitions will underscore the common vision among the member-institutions to advocate for quality education among young Negrenses, advance cultural promotion and champion excellence in sports.

De Guzman said that NOPSSCEA give due recognition to all its member-schools for the pursuit of balanced education in all levels.

Yesterday’s opening ceremony was highlighted by a drum beating competition with the University of St. La Salle-Integrated School Drum Beaters besting six other entries.

Trained by USLS-IS teacher Benjhay Mondejar, the all-boys group impressed the judges and won the P5,000 cash prize with their unique beat and moves.

Drum beaters from St. Joseph School-La Salle placed second while the all-girls group from St. Scholastica’s Academy settled for third place.

Mary Anthony Diesto from Bacolod Tay Tung High School carried the torch then passed it on to a St. La Salle aerial dancer, while the oath of sportsmanship was led by Giselle Tan, member of the USLS-IS volleyball squad that won the 2011 Palarong Pambansa crown.*NAB


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