Duterte top presidential pick, two-way race between Robredo, Marcos for VP among young athletes
Young athletes look to flock their respective voting precincts to join the nation on Monday in choosing a new president. Dante Peralta

DAYS before the presidential elections, most people are raring to exercise their right to vote their chosen bets, including the young star athletes who are going to choose their president for the first time.

Naturally, some of them remain undecided, carefully considering who to pick. Count former UAAP rivals Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes among those who’ve yet to take a side.

 “It’s my first time to vote (I’m still undecided) and I don’t endorse anyone,” said the 22-year-old ex-Ateneo star.

Reyes, though, failed to register for the elections yet she hopes that the person elected to lead the country is someone who will work for the welfare of the people and is accountable.

“I’m looking for a leader na willing to work for the country and ‘yung kaya panindigan ‘yung mga sinabi niya,” said Reyes, 21.

Philips Gold utility spiker Michele Gumabao and Philippine Army spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga have also not made a clear decision yet as they are still mulling on the candidate that fits their idea of the best leader this country needs.

“Wala akong president but ang hanap ko sa kahit anong leader is respect. Respect for his/her position, for the people, for the rules and for the country,” said Gumabao.

Others, however, are certain on their choice. F2 Logistics middle blocker Aby Marano was vocal that Rody Duterte is her president.

The 23-year old former La Salle star is convinced that the outspoken Davao City mayor’s discipline is what the country needs.

“Duterte ako,” she quickly said. “Gusto ko ng presidenteng didisiplina sa bansa. 

“Kasi hindi naman uunlad ang Davao kung hindi sila dispilinado under the system of Duterte. Marami diyan magaling lang magsalita pero nasaan ang gawa? I want a president that is brave enough to fight for his country just so maging maunlad lang ito, even though may risk sa buhay niya. Kailangan natin ng matibay na president,” added Marano.

Other personalities in college basketball are also voting for Duterte, currently leading the final survey before the May 9 elections.

SPIN.ph did an informal survey on players and coaches alike, on the condition that they remain anonymous, with Duterte coming out the preeminent choice as president.

Even players who are not yet registered voters for this year’s elections as they have yet to reach 18 years old said they are also hoping that Duterte will win in the coming polls, while a handful among them remain undecided even if they are qualified to vote.

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On the other hand, University of the Philippines middle blocker Kathy Bersola and former University of Santo Tomas spiker Mela Tunay are one and united for Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

The two volleybelles have found everything they’re looking for in a president in the feisty and frank Senator.

“Coz she's the complete package,” said Bersola, 20. “Well-educated, smart, has good experience, has a heart, and is passionate about service to the country.”

Tunay, 20, even conducted her own survey to guide her pick and she was both happy and angry for the reasons given to her. Some of her friends preferred Defensor-Santiago but due to her health condition they will just switch candidate.

“Actually everything I look for in a president is found in Sen. Miriam,” said Tunay. “Medyo tina-try ko mag-ask around and naiinis ako na almost lahat ng tanungin ko, siya rin ang presidente but they think they are wasting their vote at kung makapagtaning sa kanya, OA. Kaya nililipat daw nila yung vote nila.”

“My point is, with her courage, integrity, honesty and all-around brilliance, I believe mas marami siyang magagawa sa maiksing oras kaysa sa napakahabang termino ng maling kandidato. I hope bawat botante ‘wag maliitin ang kada boto sa darating na eleksyon. Only the best deserves our vote, and obviously among all the candidates, Sen. Miriam stands out in credentials. And above all, what I look for in a leader is ‘yung uunahin ang kapakanan, kabutihan at kasiguraduhan ng Pilipinas, yung they would never mean harm sa ating mga tao. ‘Di yung puro power, pure politics and social status ang labanan na lang,” she added.

As for their choice for vice president, answers by college basketball respondents reveal a two-way race for either Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo or Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada