The long tables were covered with pristine dark purple tablecloths, smooth jazz was playing, and the buffet beckoned. Last June 23 in Manila, 10 Ateneo de Davao University Blue Knights gathered for a very special lunch. Special, because these AdDU alumni are UAAP stars, be it Growling Tigers, Bulldogs, Blue Eagles or Green Archers. One thing remains common to all, however — the Blue Knights’ blood runs through them all.
The Blue Knights lunch — already the third edition — took place at Discovery Suites in Manila, the day before the official start of the MPG Discover Leadership Program. The lunch activity was made possible through the support of Mr. Wilfredo Samante, Director of the AdDU Alumni Office. It’s part of the Alumni Office’s active campaign of reaching out especially to the younger generation of AdDU graduates.
Noli Ayo, University Athletics Director, remarked in his opening statement that he gathered everyone “to make a point.” The point being that AdDU may not have been able to provide the former students scholarships or top of the line training facilities, but it did offer the opportunity to play.
“For some of you it all started in a small substandard pitch in Matina. But you had jerseys, the chance to play. And now see how far you’ve made it.”
Ayo characterized the lunch as a “celebration of sports and common ground.” Adding, “Something good must come out of this community of former and current athletes.” He encouraged everyone to “give back or go back.”
The following alumni attended the lunch meeting:
1. Mahloney Tarranza (UST)
2. Faith Nisperos (ADMU)
3. Joei Aquisap (ADMU)
4. Yoshiharu Koizumi (DLSU)
5. Gelo Diamante (DLSU)
6. Gio Diamante (DLSU)
7. Jed Diamante (DLSU)
8. Josh Cagas (NU)
9. John Rey Lagura (DLSU)
10. Maan Cadayona (ADMU)
Faith Nisperos, two-time girls’ division MVP and two-time Finals MVP awardee, spent her elementary days at AdDU. She’s now an incoming first year at AdMU aiming for a spot in the Lady Eagles volleyball team. Nisperos described transferring to AdMU as a “dream come true.”
Jed Diamante, one of 3 football playing brothers, is a third year civil engineering college student at La Salle and captain of the men’s team. He was at AdDU from grade school all the way up to high school. He goes back to Davao every year to give back to the community. “I feel fortunate and want to be a role model for young players in Mindanao.”