By Joan Ko
With their recent win against the Tamaraws, we definitely heard the UST Growling Tigers in their statement growl loud and proud—they are not taking this hunting season lightly. Ace player Renzo Subido, who is in his final playing year, made sure of that. There is no doubt that this kid has a fight in him that could send the Tigers atop their game and dominating the arena.
This seasoned veteran is not backing down and will continue to help his team claw their way to the Final Four before he sets out to play for the San Juan Knights in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPLB). Renzo has already been upping his game to achieve an even bigger goal in his career but, clearly—be in the performance or in everything he does—he does it by staying present in the moment. He said that he knows it’s best to keep his head in the game and focus on making as many wins for UST as possible before he starts to delve into life playing for a different team altogether. He intends to play his best and hardest no matter which game he is in.
In our interview, Renzo said he had always envisioned himself doing sports. Starting with soccer at age 6, it later became his dream to play pro basketball because the love for sports and athletics was really his passion. You can say it was really in his DNA since his dad Henry Subido, was also an ace player back in the day but only for a different color. His dad was a UP Fighting Maroon alum and, despite choosing to make Espana his home rather than stay with his dad’s team in Diliman, he has been prepared for the world of athletics and was taught a thing or two when it comes to managing the demands of basketball and his schooling.
We got curious as to why he didn’t join his dad’s alma mater and Renzo simply answered that it was his other dream to take up Engineering in UST. He got in the program but for his first two years as a Thomasian, Renzo saw the need to make compromises. He then transferred to a different course where he could focus on playing basketball without worrying about affecting his grades and class performance.
When we asked what he does to alleviate the stress of a student athlete life, he said, “Like in anything that life throws at you, you just got to come prepared. So that’s what I do. If I have extra time this weekend to finish all my schoolwork, I do them. I don’t like it when I can’t focus on school because of training or when I get lousy in the court because I’m worrying about my academics. I ask for my coaches’ permission if I have to skip a game or training because of my thesis and I really do it.”
He looks at life as both a veteran player and a graduating student with so much ease. And actually liking what he does is part of the driving force that keeps his engine going. Training with the rest of the Tigers is one of the things that he genuinely looks forward to and even if there are days when they need to go take extra steps and measures, Renzo says that with a good massage and great food to reward themselves after with, all the aches and pains of a solid training becomes even more worth it.
A calm and composed player that surely knows how to work under extreme pressure, Renzo knows how to filter the level of negativity around him including unfortunate losses in the game. He treats them as “a learning opportunity not just for the team but also for me, as an individual. We just motivate each other and acknowledge that there is still room for improvement. I always push the team and tell them that getting better never stops.” He values the teachings of every loss as much as he does for every victory.
Renzo also shares that one thing being a Tiger has taught him and he will take to heart even when he moves on to a different path is the importance of never giving up no matter what and not letting one failure stop him from growing and becoming better. “This is my last year with UST, so of course people are asking if I’m feeling any pressure, but I just tell them honestly, I’m happy to be making the most out of my last games as a Tiger. I’m fulfilling my everyday goals with my team one step at a time and I make sure that I’m giving back to the school. I’m giving my 100% the same that any of my teammates also gives his.”
The graduating Tiger exudes great skills only a rightful mentor would possess—the kind which is nonetheless what any team would need. If there is anything he would like to be remembered for when he finally passes the torch on to his juniors, it would be this sense of leadership. “For me, becoming a good leader is not just about knowing the strengths of your teammates, it’s also about stepping up when they need you to work on their weaknesses too. I hope they remember our moments and all the lessons we learned together.”
With this kind of pro attitude, life after his final UAAP season will still continue to put him in the spotlight, and we will definitely still be hearing Renzo growl with pride in the years to come.
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu
Grooming by Muriel Vega-Perez and team
Video by Lui Jimenez, Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
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