WITH every end comes a new beginning.
Leaving behind the year that had been so good to them, some of the country’s top athletes and sportsmen are ready to embrace 2013, hoping the next 12 months will be even better than the year that was.
While he remains undecided on his future as University of Santo Tomas coach, Pido Jarencio hopes the Tigers will be able to deliver the UAAP men’s basketball trophy to the school's Espana campus.
“My wish is for UST to win the UAAP crown on Season 76,” said Jarencio, who came close to steering the Tigers to the championship last season but fell short against five-time champion Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Meanwhile, San Mig point guard Mark Barroca and Rain or Shine big man Jervy Cruz are both hoping their respective teams currently playing against each other in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, will be able to advance to the Finals.
“New Year wish ko sana aabot yung team namin sa Game Seven,” said Barroca of the Mixers, who currently trails the Elasto Painters in their best-of-seven semis series, 2-3.
“Ang wish ko sana makapasok kami ulit sa Finals ng walang injury,” said Cruz for his part.
“Looking forward ako na mag champion ulit at mas magandang career na naghihintay sa 2013,” added the former UST King Tiger.
Even though Global Port had a disappointing campaign in its inaugural stint in the pro league, rookie forward Vic Manuel hopes 2013 will be a better one for him and his team.
“Wish ko maging maayos ang takbo ng career ko, at inaasahan ko na magiging maayos na din ang takbo ng team namin,” said the former PBA D-League MVP.
While nursing the torn ACL injury he suffered two months ago, Ginebra sophomore Dylan Ababou wishes for a fast recovery for him to get back on the court again.
“Sana gumaling na ang knee injury ko and to play again,” said Ababou, who’s expected to sit out for the next six months.
After leaving their respective alma mater, Jake Pascual, Ian Sangalang, and Tantan Banal are all looking forward to building up their playing careers as they move up the next level.
Pascual, the former San Beda team captain and now a member of the Smart Gilas cadet training pool, sees the new year as the perfect time for him to leave behind his vices and focus more on his career.
“Iwas na ako sa mga bisyo at di na magpupuyat, and focus na sa career,” he said. “Sa 2013 I will serve my country.”
Sangalang, the reigning NCAA MVP out of San Sebastian, said that he hopes to latch on to a team that will really need his services.
“I always look forward not backward,” said Pascual, one-third of the Stags’ dreaded `Pinatubo Trio’ along with Calvin Abueva and Ronald Pascual.
“Tsaka sana kung magpapa-draft ako (sa PBA), mapunta ako sa team na kailangan talaga ako.”
Banal, son of Arellano coach Koy, wishes for a healthy 2013 and a better career in the PBA D-League.
“Wish ko this new year no injuries, and I’m looking forward to the next conference of the D-League,” he said.
Winning three straight NCAA championships for San Beda seemed not enough for Finals MVP Baser Amer, who still wants more.
“Syempre four-peat,” said the Davao native point guard. “New Year’s wish ko din na maging okay ang family ko, and sana madami pang dumating na blessings sa 2013.”
With big shoes to fill, incoming Ateneo coach Bo Perasol is having mixed emotions in the coming year.
Feeling the heat after taking over the coaching job vacated by champion coach Norman Black, Perasol says it’s an honor to be with the five-time UAAP champions.
“This coming new year brings my aspirations to a higher level. I am quite excited, with a little tinge of apprehension as to what the next season of the Blue Eagles would be like. Taking over at a time when expectations are at an all-time high, would be an enormous task,” he said.
“At the same time, I will be inheriting a successful program and an all-out support group. In general, however, I believe that all of these situations happen for a greater purpose and I feel privileged to be a part of it,” he added.
Taking over as Mapua coach from Chito Victolero, former cage star Atoy Co doesn’t want to think about the job that awaits him with his alma mater. Instead, he wishes for a grandchild in 2013.
“My New Year's wish is to be healthy,” said the PBA legend. “Sana rin may mag-asawa na sa mga anak ko para magka-apo na ako.”
As for Lyceum coach Boni Tan, his wish for 2013 is, “More wins (for Lyceum), and control my blood pressure.”
And for Far Eastern University Tamaraws star point guard Terrence Romeo, a better 2013 for him and for the country.
“Sana `yung masama nung 2012, maging maganda ngayong 2013. And `yung magaganda nung 2012, sana mas maging maganda pa ngayong 2013,” he said.