The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Jins dethroned the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Jins in the University Athletic Association (UAAP) poomsae (form) championship at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City on Friday.
Coming from bronze finish last season, the La Salle Jins dominated the individual female and pair categories.
Rinna Babanto clinched the first gold for La Salle in the individual female play, garnering a score of 8.43, followed by Far Eastern University’s (FEU) Charisse Gasmin with 8.06, and University of the Philippines’ (UP) Jeanisse Patricia Jubelag with 7.92.
The duo of Raphael Enrico Mella and Angelica Joyce Gaw of La Salle dominated the pair category with a score of 8.66, besting UP’s Dustin Jacob Mella and Janna Dominique Oliva, and UST’s Jerel Anthony Dalida and Jocel Lyn Ninobla.
Notching a score of 8.58, Tiger Jin Rodolfo Reyes Jr. topped UP’s Mella and La Salle’s McAvyngyr Alob in the individual male category.
Reyes together with Adrian Meynard Ang and Jerel Anthony Dalida notched another gold for UST in the team male category with a score of 8.65, followed by La Salle’s Mella, Alob, and Benjamin Daniel Sembrano, and UP’s Lyan Joseph Llanto, Juanito Sandoy Jr., and Jayboy Buenavista.
The UP Lady Jins Jubelag, Oliva, and Aina Pearl Callos snatched the top spot in the team female play with a score of 8.6, prevailing over La Salle’s Babanto, Gaw, and Kristi Anrose Hernandez, and UST’s Ninobla, Jhoanna Lyde Razon, and Cyrinne Jazmine Abenir.
The green-and-white squad bagged the championship with two golds, two silvers, and a bronze, while defending champions Tiger Jins settled for a runner up finish with two golds and two bronzes. The UP Jins closed their campaign at the third place with a gold, two silvers, and two bronzes.
“Four long years and we were really preparing for it. Well in the very beginning, they always a problem with the number of players and we were very fortunate for this season we were able to get quality players. Most of the players came from the World Championships so they’re in the peak of their conditions. They were more united this time because we’re a small group, we’re only six,” said La Salle head coach JP Sabido.
Tiger Jins, Lady Warriors to begin title defense
The UST Tiger Jins and UE Lady Warriors will open their title defense in the UAAP Season 79 taekwondo championship on Sunday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
“Same procedure, we just train twice a day since summer. We have morning workout and evening workout too. We have SNC (strength and conditioning) program as well and also nutrition,” said UST coach Jasmin Simpao on Friday.
The UST Tiger Jins remain intact despite the absence of last season’s captain and Most Valuable Player, Joaquin Mendoza. Juan Miguel Ramos and Carlos Miguel will lead UST this season.
“We’re expecting to get the championship for this year as well,” Simpao added.
Meanwhile, the UE Lady Warriors will miss the service of last season’s Rookie of the Year Baby Jessica Cannabal, Mitzi Macan, and Angie Dayag.
“We prepare those who are new to the team because we lost a lot of players who transferred to another school. So we filled the vacated slots with new players for us to become complete again. It is hard for us but we, seniors in the team, helped the new players,” said UE playing coach Karen Cells.
Isabel Mercado will serve as the UE Lady Warriors’ captain.
“The seniors are still there but we are not expecting to get the championship. We only wish the new players to cooperate with us so that we can still have a podium finish,” Cells added.
After clinching their first tiara last season, Cells said that this season is more complicated.
“Even though we’re not expecting to defend our title, we keep on working. It’s very complicated now because when one of us loses, it will be over for us. Unlike before, we were solid and we knew that no one would be left out, compared to what we have now. We’re ready for whatever result we will get.”
The competition starts at 8 a.m. on Sunday.