The Semerad Twins
Anthony and Dave Semerad of San Beda Red Lions
Photos by CROMWELL TORIO
Styled by JP DICHE
Grooming by SHEILA TIU
Hair by DAVE GRONA
Clothes from FOLDED AND HUNG
Article By RONALD S. LIM
September 14, 2011
MANILA, Philippines — For 20 year-old fraternal twins Anthony and David Semerad, it’s all about being a family – even when it comes to basketball.
When the twins decided to pursue college basketball in the Philippines, it wasn’t just the academic standing and credentials that they were looking for in the universities that they visited. More than anything, they were looking for a place that felt like home.
“We came from Europe, we never knew of any schools and all the ones that we heard of were pretty prestigious,” explains Anthony. “But we found what we were looking for in San Beda because it’s like a family here. Since it’s just me and my brother here, we wanted a school that would feel like home to us.”
Indeed, family comes first for these Filipino-Czech cagers who were born in Australia.
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|(Dave Left/ Anthony Right)|
Making the journey to the Philippines was not a new experience for the Semerads. They had previously visited the country as 10 year-olds, and they speak fondly of the country’s unique aroma.
“It’s this smell that just reminds you of the Philippines. It’s a good smell, you know you’re in the Philippines,” says David with a laugh.
“It’s like a distinctive smell, you know you’re somewhere else. The sweat, the heat, the people were different. That’s the first initial thing I felt. Coming here wasn’t really a shock,” adds Anthony. “People would tell me that we would have culture shock and stuff like that, but I think my brother and I adapted pretty well.”
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“My mom did well with going to church and having God in your life, because in Australia it’s not really pushed. Filipino parents are very strict and our mom was very strict with us. Growing up she oriented us towards God, family, and our studies,” Anthony recalls.
“I’ve learned a few words in Tagalog growing up. We also grew up with Filipino food, and we really loved sinigang na baboy and adobo with ginger,” says David.
It also didn’t hurt that the two felt completely welcomed in San Beda College.
“The first day in San Beda, everyone was there for us, talking to us and asking us how we were. It was a very friendly environment. The training here is up to standard,” says Anthony. “I’ve never heard of basketball here and coming here, stagnating was my worry. But the training here is up to par; we travel to the States once a year.”
The particularly physical way that basketball is played here was also something that the Semerads had to adjust to.
“Basketball here is rough and it’s a lot quicker. Back in Australia, it’s a different style of game. We definitely had to adjust to the way the game is played here and we still are adjusting,” explains David. “Everyone’s a lot shorter here and quicker! When I dribble the ball, they can easily steal it and I had to adjust and be quick too.”
“I’m a hard worker. I do all my assignments, I take all my exams and I study hard. You can check the papers, it shows,” says David. “There’s usually a lot of late nights getting my assignments and my schoolwork done. There’s a bit of stress but we get through.”
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On Sibling rivalry....
“We’ve had quite a few fights over girls. He says he always wins but I think it’s 50-50. Anthony’s more shy. He’d want me to talk to the girl for him and get her number. But he’d never do it for me, I’d have to do it myself. As for wild behavior? That’s classified information,” says David with a laugh.
“Right now, we’re single and ready to mingle... We’ve definitely competed over a girl, and David may tell a different story but I always win. I always get what I want,” counters Anthony. “He says that he’s the wilder one and I’m shy, but I think he just doesn’t know who I am really.”
On Football's Rising Popularity in the country...“Mum and dad would always teach us that we’re the same, that we’re brothers and twins, so we shouldn’t fight and just help each other,” says Anthony. “It’s good that the Philippines has more options. Both can go up and both can get international attention. It’s good for the country and Filipinos. It’s doesn’t have to be either-or.”
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