Game in and game out, one particular celebrity spectator is consistently seen in the gallery cheering for the Green and White squad. He can be heard chanting “Go La Salle!” He wears green shirt during games. And like every bona fide Green Archer fan, he jumps and applauds wildly after a magnificent play by the Green Archers.
And that celebrity happens to be an “Eagle”.
No, he is not from the other school. But he is an eagle because he is none other than “Don Gabriel Agila” himself, Val Sotto. The older generation will easily recall Val playing the title role in the hit afternoon program “Agila” and as one of the mainstays of the popular comedy show “T.O.D.A.S.” during the 1980s. But the younger generation may find it hard to see the connection. Nonetheless, his surname should ring a bell for the old and the young ones alike. Val is the brother of Philippines’ top comedian and Eat Bulaga host Vic Sotto and the comebacking Senator Tito Sotto.
Val is aware of people talking about the whole “Eagle supporting La Salle” thing and is amused by it. “Natatawa nga ako, nababasa ko sa internet. Pati color ng shirt ko pinapansin nila. Ok lang, at least I am reliving my younger days (on the reference to Agila),” said Val, who incidentally was wearing a dark blue shirt during that Adamson-La Salle game.
He has been a supporter of the DLSU team since two years ago. “Actually, I am a true-blooded Letranite (Letran College) so my support for La Salle is based on affinity. All four of my children graduated from De La Salle University in Manila and all my grandchildren are from La Salle Zobel,” Val reveals.
Throughout the years of watching the games, Val has grown fond of the team. He was there when DLSU lost the Finals to the Blue Eagles in 2008, and when the team missed the final four for the first time last season. And now, he is one with the Lasalle community in expressing high hopes for the young squad.
“ From the start alam natin mahina eh, maraming mga rookies, but sa pinapakita nila ngayon, konting practice pa, dagdagan lang ng practice, may laban, “ Paranaque’s three-term councilor remarked.
So hopeful and optimistic he is that Val believes La Salle will make it back to the Final Four, and perhaps, even reclaim the championship.
From the choice of school for his children and grandchildren to his steadfast support for the team, Val has undoubtedly adopted La Salle as his own team. And without a doubt as well, the La Sallian community returns the favor and considers Val Sotto as one of them… despite him being an “Agila”.