Hans Smit on DLSU's UAAP football bid: Itâs about bouncing back
Hans Smit on DLSU's UAAP football bid: It’s about bouncing back
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - February 27, 2020 - 2:01pm

MANILA, Philippines – With La Salle falling short in two of the last three UAAP men’s football seasons, head coach Hans Smit said it is all about bouncing back and using that failure as motivation.

“The way to bounce back this year is not to forget why we lost last year (to Ateneo) and to not make the same mistakes,” said Smit, who give or take five years has been at the helm of La Salle’s football program since 1986. “We have to work harder and be in better shape than we were before. While reaching the finals last year was beyond our expectations because we had 13 rookies, that is over. This is a new season.”

“Knowing every team beefed up their lineups, we trained extra hard for this season. Having said that, it will come down to who does not let go.”

The Green Archers will lose the services of Yoshiharu Koizumi, Alfonso Montelibano and Gab Villacin, who went in another direction. Shanden Vergara, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year, received a scholarship from a school in the US while Javier Zubiri moved to a university in Spain.

To make up for their manpower losses, DLSU will have another bumper crop of recruits that will look to snatch that elusive UAAP title that they last won in 1997.

The squad was able to get from perennial high school champions, FEU-FERN goal keeper Jason Blanco as well as defenders French Talaroc and JP Bengay. They also have Akim Dalam, a striker/midfielder from Perpetual Help in Las Piñas, and Isaac Anoh, a striker from Ivory Coast.

 According to Smit, all the recruits will be in DLSU’s starting 11.

“I am expecting everybody to step up,” summed up Smit. “There is no one player that can carry the team. We have a system of teamwork where anybody can and will be able to score at any given time. Furthermore, our rookies from last season have matured a bit and that will help.”

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