To step on the pitch for De La Salle University-Manila in the UAAP can be a daunting proposition for any rookie. But to do so as a constant name on the starting 11 as a center-back, of all positions, is something that must be admired.
That is what Jovan Marfiga has achieved so far for the Green & White. The Masbate native replaced the defensive stalwarts Noel Brago and Nikko Villancin and has proven he has what it takes to be the Taft school’s lead defender not only in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament but also in the next few years.
It isn’t easy for any 19-year-old neophyte to hold down his place in any football team but Marfiga has held his own well enough that fans can expect him to hold his own against veteran forwards in the league.
Here, the AB-Sports Management student talks to GoArchers about his experiences playing for DLSU this season.
First of all, how were you recruited for La Salle?
I was recruited when coach Alvin (Ocampo) went to Masbate for a national beach football (tourney). They saw me playing beach football and (the coaches) had a player before from Masbate also. That’s why they recommended me (for the school).
How is the transition from high school to college?
Sa academics, hindi naman ako masyadong nahirapan kasi sanay din ako. Before, student-athlete pa din ako sa Masbate and may mga experience din ako na kunwari lalabas nang matagal tapos hindi papasok pero humahabol din sa class.
Yung playing experience ko, naka-experience din ako ng international games. Nakalaro na din ako sa national league and this is my first time to play in the UAAP. Iba pa rin talaga yung UAAP.
How’s the experience been so far after two UAAP games?
It feels like I’m living my dream because it’s my dream to play in the UAAP and (do so) for La Salle. Grabe yung pressure. Yung pressure parang nag-iiba lahat. Before (nung) pre-season, parang kampante ka but once na pumasok yung UAAP, parang yung lahat ng team nag-iba yung form. Parang mas lumakas ang lahat. Eager lahat na manalo, kumuha ng win.
How do you feel playing for La Salle?
Napakasarap kasi it’s an opportunity makalaro sa ganitong school, one of the top schools in the Philippines. Iba pa rin ang feeling makalaro para sa isang school na kilala.
How did it feel to keep a clean sheet for the first time in your UAAP career?
We are all happy kase we didn’t concede goals pero may mga lapses pa na kailangan trabahuin when it comes to attacking and defending.
What do you want to achieve this season, for yourself and the team?
Para sa akin, yung personal goal ko is yung mag improve pa palagi at marami pang matutunan sa laro at ma-reach ko ang mga goals ko. For the team, our goal is to reach the Final Four and to end the championship drought. And also to improve the chemistry of the team.
What is your promise to the team’s supporters for the rest of the season?
Our team will give its best to win every match and our target is to reach the Final Four. That’s our target no matter what happens. Positive lang kami makuha yung win palagi.