With this upcoming PAFL season’s kickoff just a few days away, I got the chance to have a sit-down with one Datu mainstay and two incoming players, taking snaps in their first season. During the interview, we discussed their preparations for this upcoming campaign, how the first-year players have acclimated to the rigours of gridiron, and some interesting stuff about the NFL.
I started off with their premier signal-caller, Wewe Alvero.
Kris: How are the team’s preparations so far?
Wewe: As of now, [it’s] getting better since sobrang lapit na ng season; mas intense yung training and practices.
(As of now, it’s getting better since the start of the season is fast-approaching. Training and practices are getting more intense.)
K: What can we expect from this team this coming season?
W: More aggressive na Datu yung ngayon since uhaw kaming manalo, and compete sa mga magagaling na team.
(I expect a more aggressive Datu team this year since we’re thirsty to win. Also, I’m looking forward to competing against the great teams.)
K: Anything we should look forward to offensively?
W: More on fundamentals yung offense this year. Mas prepared yung mga plays and play-calling this year. Most of all dapat walang turnover para mas madictate namin yung game.
(The offense will be based more on fundamentals this year. The plays and the play-calling will be more prepared this year. Most of all, there has to be no turnover so that we can dictate the game.)
Moving on to two of the rookies I personally trained with (I tried out to be a wideout on the team), way back in March this year, I had a glimpse of what would be their first taste of grueling action on the field. With me are linebacker/wide receiver Mac Oxales and LB Enroe Pichay.
Kris: What’s your number and the position you play?
Mac: 14. Linebacker.
K: So, you’ve now switched to defense, eh?
M: Also wide receiver.
K: I see. You’re still able to maintain your position from the camp.
K: How about you, Enroe? What’s your position and the number you’re wearing.
Enroe: Linebacker. 54.
K: How long have you been playing football, and what struck your interest in it?
M: I’ve been training with the Datu since March. That was [my] first engagement in football. I find it very interesting because of its adrenaline and the nature of the sport.
E: Since my rookie year. I have been playing football for almost 6 months.
K: So, basically, this year ka lang nakalaro?
(So, basically, this is your first year playing?)
E: Oo, bro, since nung tryout natin. Pero last year ko pa gustong sumali.
(Yes, bro, since our tryout. But I wanted to join the league last year.)
K: As a rookie with the Datu, what are some things that the vets have taught you?
M: Put extra effort [in] every activity.
K: As for you, Enroe, being a rookie with the Datu, how have you adapted to your veteran teammates?
E: Actually, very comfortable ako sa kanila kasi bukod sa magaling silang makisama, madami ka pang matututunan sa kanila.
(I’m very comfortable playing with them because aside from them being so good at establishing camaraderie, you’ll have so much to learn from them.)
K: Mac, how do you find playing both on the offensive and the defensive side of the ball?
M: Every play, either it’s on defense or offense, is crucial. [I] think of it as if it’s [the] fourth quarter and your last-second play.
K: Expectations mo for your rookie year?
(What are your expectations for your rookie year?)
E: Hmm. Expectation ko lang na magiging worth it lahat ng sacrifices; hindi lang ako kundi ng kapwa ko rookies and ng team.
(My only expectation is that all of my sacrifices would be worth it; not only mine, but also my fellow rookies’ and my other teammates’.)
K: Anything we should look forward to, defensively?
E: To be honest, wala akong idea kung anong mangyayari sa defense [because] most of them na ‘di maglalaro is sa defense, but we will make sure [that] this will be exciting.
(To be honest, I have no idea what will happen to our defense because most of the players on our team that won’t play play defense, but we will make sure that this will be exciting.)
K: I like what I heard from you.
K: So now, let’s jump in to a few bonus questions.
E and M: G. (Game)
K: Favourite NFL player?
M: Honestly, since I’m new to this sport, I barely know any NFL player, but I got my eyes on Marshawn Lynch and OBJ.
K: Ooh, Beast Mode! And OBJ just got paid (laughs).
K: Let me tweak this a little bit for you, Enroe, since I know that you’re a huge follower of the NFL. Who’s your favourite NFL player playing your position?
E: Probably Bobby Wagner.
K: Straight from Seahwaks defense, eh?
K: Mac, why wear [jersey number] 14?
M: I choose 14 because [I consider] it as my lucky number.
K: Enroe, why 54?
E: Of course, Wagner, bro (chuckles). 54!
K: (laughs) Ah, is that so?
E: Yeah, bro, no other reasons. Kasi ‘di naman pwede monthsary eh (laughs).
(Yeah, no other, reasons. It’s because it can’t be a date for a monthsary.)
K: So, inspiration (laughs)?
K: Lalabas sa website ‘to ah (laughs).
(This will appear on the website, ah.)
E: Inspiration ko, bro, syempre ‘yung sarili ko.
(My inspiration, of course, is myself.)
K: Alright, that’s a wrap. Thank you all guys for the time we spent together. It’s been a pleasure getting to speak to you all again.
Tune in to witness Mac, Enroe, Wewe, and the rest of the Datu tribe as they dominate the PAFL this 2018. Datu’s season kicks off with their matchup against the Warriors on 1 September, 5pm at the Gatorade Blue Pitch at Circuit Makati. Together, we #LeadtheTribe.