Arellano senior Dodee Batindaan opens up about balancing sports and acads | NCAA Philippines

Dodee Batindaan has played her final collegiate volleyball game on Sunday as Arellano University was booted out of the NCAA Season 99 women's volleyball tournament after falling to Lyceum of the Philippines University in the first round of the stepladder semis.

Pursuing a degree in criminology, the 23-year old middle blocker said she will now turn to finishing some of her requirements in school.

"Sa ngayon, tinatapos namin ang kailangan tapusin para gumraduate," Batindaan told GMA Integrated News when asked about her future plans. 

"Kung may opportunity mag-try out sa ibang team, siguro ayaw ko pa rin naman i-give up ang volleyball. Siguro, hahanap ako ng next chapter na maglalaro pa rin kung saan puwede."

(For now, I will finish what needs to be done to graduate. If there's an opportunity to try out with teams, perhaps I'm not giving up on volleyball yet. I may look for a new chapter and play wherever I can.)

While the Lady Chiefs missed the finals for the second straight season, for Batindaan, the biggest challenge she faced in Arellano was actually juggling her time for academics and sports.

"Siguro po, 'yun nga as student-athlete, 'yung pagsabay ng pag-aaral. 'Yun nga, fourth year kami, may OJT (on-the-job training) tapos may training tapos parating ang season. Na-balance naman 'yun at na-survive," said Batindaan.

(Perhaps, as a student-athlete, it's about [juggling sports and] academics. We are fourth year students, we have OJT and training then the season is already coming. But we balanced it and survived it.)

Despite the challenges she has faced, Batindaan said she did not give up and just strived to face them one at a time.

"Sa akin lang po, siguro 'yung sa part na sa mga panahon na nahihirapan, marami ka pong kailangan i-prioritize — 'yung tungkulin mo sa team, tungkulin mo sa pag-aaral. Pag nahihirapan, 'wag mag-give up. Tuloy lang dahil lahat ng problema may solusyon."

(For me, during challenging times, there are many things to be prioritized — duties in the team or in school. Don't give up. Just push through because all problems have solutions.)

As she will step out of the Legarda premises soon, Batindaan remains grateful for all the things she has received and learned from Arellano.

"Una, salamat sa Arellano community and management kasi sa loob ng ilang years, malaki ang naging tulong nila sa amin bilang student-athlete," she said. "Siguro hindi naging madali din. Angat-pababa pero salamat pa rin sa Arellano."

Aside from Batindaan, graduating players from Arellano include Donnalyn Paralejas, Lorraine Pecana, Robbie Matawaran, and Charmaine Dino.

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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