Ryley Bugay looks to continue double duty as Filipinas member, med student | Inquirer Sports

Ryley Bugay looks to continue double duty as Filipinas member, med student

/ 05:55 PM August 06, 2023

Filipinas Philippines Ryley Bugay Women's World Cup

Ryley Bugay answers questions from the media during the Filipinas homecoming, on Thursday, Aug 3, 2023, at Adidas Brand Center in Makati City.

MANILA, Philippines — Ryley Bugay plans to continue wearing two hats as a medical student and member of the Philippine women’s football team after realizing her dream to be part of the Filipinas’ experience in the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

In her first year studying medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville, Bugay also became a part of the Filipinas’ historic appearance on the biggest stage of women’s football in Auckland last week.

The 27-year-old Filipino-American national team member relished her experience of making it to the final roster and seeing action in the Filipinas’ final World Cup match against Norway.

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“I was in a pretty unique situation, having been accepted to medical school. It was definitely a big challenge, balancing the rigor of being an elite athlete and obviously the stress of medical school but it was all about time management, balancing,”  Bugay shared during their media availability at Adidas Brand Center in Makati on Thursday.  “So I’m really thankful for the team for welcoming me back with open arms and the staff for allowing me to pursue both.”

Philippines New Zealand FIfa WOmen's World Cup

Philippines players celebrate following the Women’s World Cup Group A soccer match between New Zealand and the Philippines in Wellington, New Zealand, Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (AP Photo/John Cowpland)

Bugay, who was part of the squad that clinched a World Cup ticket in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, was able to stay in shape when she joined the team’s build-up in Sydney, Australia, coming from her first year at medical school.

The longtime Filipinas member since 2018 is determined to continue juggling her dream to become a doctor and continue to serve the national team, which will see action in the Asian Games and the second round of the Olympic Qualifying tournament.

“Plans are still up in the air. I still [want] to continue both paths but as of the moment, I’m still pursuing both but we’ll see where the road takes me,” Bugay said. “Right now, my top two choices [for specialization] are either orthopedics or general surgery, so we’ll see.”

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The Marquette University product became more inspired to do both after their historic World Cup stint.

“If you could get close-ups of all of us singing the national anthem, I think you can see a lot of us are either in tears or just have so much emotions,”Bugay said. “That moment just kind of embodies how everybody was feeling in that particular time.”

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TAGS: Fifa World Cup, Filipinas

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