SportsDLSU Judokas: almost but not quite Judokas finish 2nd and 3rd
DLSU Judokas: almost but not quite Judokas finish 2nd and 3rd
October 20, 2011
October 20, 2011


Photo by Edmar Borromeo

One family—that made the DLSU Judo team standout from the five other competing schools in the UAAP Season 74 Judo Tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last October 1-2.

It was resounding “Kaya mo yan!”, “Sa’yo yan!”, “Pin!”, “Five seconds more!”, “Good job!”

Shouts, various tips, and the warm after-match hugs came from fellow Judoka teammates, who never left the side area whenever a Judoka played.

The Judokas with Head Coach Sam Bernales ran from one mat to the other, making sure that every teammate had support, in contrast to other teams who just cheered from their designated areas.

The Taft-based Judokas’ main goal was to walk out of Ninoy Aquino Stadium as champions. Finishing first and second runners-up, the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas did not fall short.

“I’m very satisfied whether they lose or win because in their game hindi naman sila nagquit. I made them. Tinuruan ko sila [I taught them Judo]. We’re not just a team, we’re a family,” claims Coach Bernales.

End-game surge

For the second day matches, the Bernales-mentored squad had different fates. The Green Judokas failed to hold on their first day stand, while the Lady Judokas made a late-game comeback.

The men from Taft Avenue found themselves as bridesmaids with 45 points following UST with 50 points while three-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University relegated to third with 21 points.

Over at the women’s mat, the Lady Judokas finished tied with the UE Judokas at the third spot with 21 points. The Lady Judokas edged out UE with more number of ippons, the highest one full score a Judoka can achieve, to formalize the bronze place. UST Tigresses defended the title with 47 points and 12-time champions UP secured second with 38.

It was all about heart and a sharp mind for the Judokas; they fought with determination to win the title. The Lady Judokas bagged a pair of bronze, a silver medal and gold in a day to end the Judo season on a high. Mariel Martinez and Dian So at -70 kg and +78 kg, respectively, added two more bronze to the tally sheet.

In the middleweight division, Kristine Espinas settled with silver while Florence Payno got the gold after a take down on her final match in -78 kg.

Green Judokas Keith Ver, Mickey Regala and Andrew Laxa all bagged bronze medals in their respective weight category.

The Centennial Squads’ final match was CJ San Pedro of the half middleweight for the gold medal. San Pedro thrilled the DLSU spectators as his opponent lead by 12 points to nothing until the 57th second where he won by ippon. San Pedro’s victory was the third gold medal of the team.

Opposite end for opener


Photo by Edmar Borromeo

The Centennial Squad ended the first day matches in separate ways. Green Judokas lead the medal tally for the men’s division but their women counterparts was at the end of the line when the opening day ceased.

The Green Judokas collected 29 points after grabbing 2 gold medals, silver and a pair of bronze. On the other hand, the ladies of Taft garnered only a single bronze from Nikki More at -52 kg division.

DLSU Judokas’ team captain William Chia and Ricardo Pena copped bronze and silver medals respectively for -100 kg. Jobi Yan earned a bronze honors in the middleweight division.

BG Albarracin conquered all male Judokas at -90 kg while Colin Buckley became very emotional as they got their second gold medal in the opening day.

“It’s very hard because he’s (Ateneo’s Matthew Hao) a national champion; he’s undefeated; he’s a black belt and I’m [only] a white belt. I was out for almost nine months because that same guy broke my arms. That’s why it’s a very sweet victory. Sweet redemption,” Buckley shared.