ARCHAND Bagsit gave up a basketball career to become a trackster.
He has no regrets.
The switch from the hardcourt to the oval has done wonders for Bagsit, who distinguished himself two years ago by winning two gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Now, Bagsit is on track for more gold medals in Singapore next month — something that would have been beyond him had he chosen to stick with basketball during his college days.
Unknown to many, Bagsit was once a member of the Letran high school basketball team, where he counts now PBA stars Terrence Romeo and Kevin Alas and rising star Glenn Khobuntin among his teammates.
Bagsit went on to play college ball for Letran but, unlike his celebrated teammates, never enjoyed much success and never got the playing time with the Knights. He was even relegated to Team B at one point.
“Walang playing time,” Bagsit said. “Isa na rin ‘yun dahilan kung bakit lumipat ako. Nag-explore lang ako ng other sports.
Frustrated, he chose to switch to track and field, which came natural for him since he has been running in order to keep in shape.
“Kumbaga ‘yung track and field, cross training ko lang para mag-build ng speed (sa basketball)," said Bagsit. "Gumanda ‘yung career ko. Doon ako nag-boom.”
Just years after making the shift, Bagsit, in just his second SEA Games appearance, won gold medals in the the 400-meter run and the 4x400m relay in the Myanmar SEA Games in 2013.
Bagsit is confident about repeating the feat in Singapore.
“Kung paano ko pinaghandaan ‘yung last year, mas pinaganda ko ngayon. Dinoble ko,” said Bagsit.
Bagsit is also looking to qualify for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, even though he is still more than a second behind the Olympic qualifying standard of 45.8 seconds for the 400m run.
“Matagal pa naman ‘yun. Siguro may chance pa ako. Kung hindi man sa 400m, baba ako sa 200m para makuha ko lang ‘yung standard,” said Bagsit.