Last June 28, DLSZ Swimmers Maurice Sacho Ilustre (DLSZ 2018) and Nicole Meah Pamintuan (DLSZ 2019) were handpicked by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) to be part of a delegation of 14 national swimmers and three national coaches for a one-month training in the US. DLSZ Swimming Team Coach Bong Ilustre was likewise part of the delegation who trained under USA Olympic Coaches Allison Beebe, Doug Djang and Sean Hutchison.
Our swimmers and coaches underwent a very high level of training requiring them to keep up with US national swimmers. “It was difficult, we had to swim twice a day, six times a week, combined with land strengthening programs,” narrated Nicole Pamintuan.
On their return from the US last July 9, Sacho Illustre, Nicole Pamintuan along with DLSZ swimmers Jerard Dominic Jacinto (DLSZ 2020), Raven Faith Alcoseba (DLSZ 2021), Bela Louise Magtibay (DLSZ 2020) and DLSZ Swim Team Coach Garry Domingo joined 16 swimmers from other schools to compete in the ASEAN School Games last July 12 in Singapore.
History was made because it was the first time that our country won a gold medal. It was likewise our best performance, with the national swimmers bringing home 16 medals–12 of those coming from our five De La Salle Zobel kids. Sacho Ilustre won four gold and two silver medals, likewise breaking five national records. Jerard Jacinto won a gold medal for 50-meter backstroke, Nicole Pamintuan won three bronze medals, Raven Alcoseba and Bela Magtibay also contributed one bronze medal each. The games ended with a historic medal haul for our country, most of which coming from Lasallian swimmers.
DLSZ Swim Team Manager, Mr. Lawrence Sahagun shared, “I was almost in tears during the awarding ceremony. It was the first time I heard our National Anthem being played in an international meet.”
“We are on the right track. The program we started four years ago aims to produce Lasallian swimmers who will not only swim for our alma mater but also for the glory of our country. This is our small contribution to Philippine sports,” he concluded.