Back-to-back UAAP General Champions, DLSU, tasted the biggest upsets and the most glorious triumphs as early as the first semester of UAAP Season 77. Several DLSU varsity teams failed to defend their crowns while the others were able to achieve a better and smoother campaign this year.
It was a heartbreaking season for La Salle’s basketball teams as defending champions DLSU Green Archers and Lady Archers were both dethroned by FEU. The Lady Archers finished the eliminations strong as the number two team with 10 wins and four losses. However, the ladies from Taft lost their twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals at the expense of the surging Lady Tamaraws, thereby ending the season as the second runner-ups.
Their male counterparts suffered the same fate as well. The Green Archers were tied with the FEU Tamaraws at second place after the elimination round, with both teams having a 10-4 win-loss record. In their virtual best-of-three semifinals series, FEU emerged victorious in Game One to take the twice-to-beat advantage. La Salle then bounced back in Game Two but failed to win Game Three as FEU’s Mac Belo hit a buzzer-beating triple to lead his team back to the finals. With the heartbreaking loss, the Green Archers concluded the season at third place. Nevertheless, one of the spots in the mythical team belonged to Green Archer Jeron Teng.
Two other DLSU teams were also unable to deliver good results in their respective title defense as the Green Jins ended this year’s taekwondo tournament at fourth place. The Lady Judokas, who won their first ever UAAP title last year in the judo tournament, fell to fifth place this season.
The Green Spikers failed to barge into the win column in the men’s beach volleyball tournament as they ended at last place with a 0-7 win-loss record for the second straight season.
The Lady Shuttlers weren’t able to improve their first runner-up finish last season as they dropped to fourth place this year in the badminton tournament. They lost important games against FEU and ADMU in the semifinals that led to an early ending for the Taft-based squad.
Like the Lady Judokas, the Green Judokas also fell short this season with a fourth place finish after placing third last year. Consistent top placer Green Tankers also slipped to fourth place in the swimming tournament. However, the Lady Tankers were able to maintain their standing as they took the second runner-up prize.
Despite several DLSU teams having unfavorable endings in their respective tournaments, a number of La Salle-based squads still came out with better numbers and the hefty UAAP Season 77 trophy.
The Lady Spikers and the Green Shuttlers took the first runner-up spot in the women’s beach volleyball tournament and the men’s badminton tournament respectively. The Lady Jins also ended the women’s taekwondo tournament as the first runner-ups while the poomsae team improved from fifth place last year to first runner-up this season.
Finally, the Green Paddlers won back-to-back championships while the Lady Paddlers completed La Salle’s double championship in the table tennis tournament as they took the first place as well. Green Paddler Jerald Cristobal and Lady Paddler Yanyan Lariba were hailed as the season MVPs.
As of press time, DLSU is at second place for the General Championship (GC) race behind leading UST. La Salle tallied a total of 147 points in the first semester sports while frontrunner UST is ahead by five with 152 points. Next to DLSU is UP who garnered 130 points while ADMU scored 114 points.
The second semester of the UAAP will begin a few weeks from now and the remaining 14 La Salle teams are definitely eager to perform in their utmost best in their respective tournaments. The sports events in the second semester are indoor volleyball, football, tennis, baseball, softball, athletics, and fencing.