Drama in the arena

Ricky V. Tid

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Drama in the arena
For Bicol volleyball player Carl Andrew Sambrano, losing is not the end of everything. He has been through many failures but he remains assertive that he can beat the odds through God’s grace.

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – One loss is enough, two is too many, and 3… perhaps, they just are not lucky at all. But for Carl Andrew Sambrano, 12, falling 3 times is never a reason to give up.

It was the fourth and crucial game for the volleyball player from Manambrag, San Andres, Catanduanes-Region V who was very eager to win his last game in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa elementary boys volleyball tournament on Friday, April 15 and prove something.

He wanted to show his coach and his father that he is not a loser. The player for the Bicol region wanted to show that he may have lost consecutively in his games in Palarong Pambansa 2015 in Tagum City, but for now he is determined to prove his mettle.

Habo ko na pong mautro yung sa Tagum. Nakasupog kung mauli na naman kami pirdi. Maski saro sana tan’a,” he said before his side’s match against Zamboanga Peninsula.

(I don’t want what happened in Tagum to happen again. How humiliating it would be if we will go home losers. One win is enough for us.)

A Father’s Dream

Another reason for his relentless venture is that, his father is a frustrated Palarong Pambansa athlete. Now, he wishes to fulfil his father’s dream.

Basketball [player] po sana pangarap ni papa para sa akin. Pero volleyball po ang kinahiligan ko. Gusto po nya akong maging isang professional player at pangarap ko din po iyon.”

(Dad’s wish was for me to become a basketball player, but I wish to be a volleyball player. He wants me to be a professional player and that’s my dream as well.)

He dreamed to become a volleyball player when he was in grade 4 and, if given a break, it would be very helpful to his parents and siblings. His father is only a farmer and his mother manages a small rolling store in their barangay.  

Optimism Beats All

It was only a minute before their game started. Carl Andrew was very confident that they could win, as evidenced by his cheerful demeanor while jumping and jogging in place for a warm up.

He had prepared himself much in order to get over from their previous losses. He makes sure today that he won’t have any regrets at all.

Kulang kami sa teamwork. Nagagalit din sa akin ‘yung mga kasama ko. Gagalingan ko na ngayon,” said Sambrano, in an optimistic tone. He is the captain and being the tallest and the fieriest among the group, he knows that his teammates trust him. 

(Teamwork was lacking last time. My teammates got mad as well. I’ll be better this time.)

For him, losing is not the end of everything. He had been through many failures but he remains assertive that he can beat the odds through God’s grace.

Kung dai man kami manggana ok lang. Mamundo man syempre pero igwa pa man ning masunod. Ma-high school pa man ako,” he said.

(If we lose, it is okay. I will be saddened but there are many opportunities ahead waiting for me in high school.)


The referee’s whistle blew and the game formally started. A gritty display of heroism and enthusiasm were seen inside the court. Cheers and chants were heard. Carl Andrew released his spikes and stabs, displayed his blows and blocks, showed his vim and vigor, and after tosses to and for, the final score revealed the winner: Bicol lost a spirited match in straight sets, 30-28, 25-15. – Rappler.com

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