Ilonggo badminton star impresses in NCAA South

JOHN Christopher T. Gonzales of Guimbal, Iloilo is now a key asset of the University of Perpetual Help System-Laguna (UPHS) Saints badminton team. (Photo by Ian Laranga)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

JOHN Christopher T. Gonzales from Guimbal, Iloilo, is smashing opponents in the NCAA South as he banners the University of Perpetual Help System-Laguna (UPHS) Saints varsity team.

In his younger years, Gonzales said he had no inkling that he would excel in badminton.

“I was not that physically equipped and not that well versed with the sport for I only had shallow trainings in my elementary and secondary years.”

Thanks to the glowing recommendation of Mikhail Noel Nacisvalencia, the badminton team coach of Central Philippine University (CPU) Golden Lions, to UPHS-Laguna Saints coach Michael Verdejo, Gonzales wasted no time in delivering the goods to his new home.

In an interview, Gonzales said “My most unforgettable experience was winning the NCAA championship last year. I had plenty to prove because last year was my first playing year, and coach put me in the last singles for a deciding game between La Salle. I was against top player Jeff Valle, but I won and my win got Perpetual the NCAA championship.”

Last March 3, 2019, Gonzales propelled the Saints to another NCAA championship against La Salle Lipa.

“It is important to set your goals and do your best to reach it. Do not ever doubt yourself that you cannot make it, just believe and have faith in God always. Always prioritize your studies above all.” Gonzales stated.

Gonzales is a second year student taking up B.S. in Aircraft Maintenance Technology.

Gonzales graduated from Kinaadman Elementary School Incorporated, SEAFDEC Tigbauan in his primary years, and Hua Siong College of Iloilo in his secondary.