The DLSU Lady Fencers and Green Fencers emerged from the UAAP Season 78 Fencing Tournament at third and fifth place, respectively, after both finishing at fourth place in last year’s edition of the tournament. This year’s tournament, which featured a six-team playing field, was played from February 10 to 13 at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City, and was dominated by the UE Red Warriors, who capped another title run after clinching a double championship for the fourth straight year.
The first two days of the tournament saw some of the best male and female collegiate fencers compete in the individual events. Green Fencers team captain Rayd Orozco managed to take home the bronze medal at the Men’s Epee event after competing in a stacked bracket of elite fencers from UST and UE. Francois Licono, a UE High School graduate, made his UAAP debut for La Salle this season and immediately made contributions after bagging bronze medals in the Men’s Sabre and Foil events.
The Lady Fencers, on the other hand, bagged two bronze medals of their own courtesy of rookies Karyl Shoemaker (Women’s Sabre) and Divine Romero (Women’s Epee), with the latter placing second in the Women’s Foil event as well. Although the rookies from both teams immediately made an impact in their UAAP debuts, the veterans from both Men’s and Women’s teams were unable to build on their efforts from last season.
Team captain May Montenegro, who was supposedly playing her last season, was not seen at the podium for her individual events. After the tournament, she vowed to come back to finish her UAAP career on a much better note. “Hindi ako magse-settle na hindi ako makakuha ng medal for La Salle. So I’ll be coming back next year to play. I’m planning to take master’s and then play in UAAP Season 79,” she said.
Fencers fall short of gold
The last two days of the competition featured fencers competing under the team events. Orozco, Licono, Gian Rodriguez, and Marco Gatpandan managed to bag the bronze medal in the team Epee event, but Orozco, Licono, Rodriguez, and Jose Anonuevo came in at last place in the Sabre event. Montenegro, Romero, Mikaela Castilo, and Patricia Miravite settled for bronze in the team Foil event after falling in the semifinal round to the UP Lady Maroons. Montenegro and Romero came close to completing an inspired rally after being down 35-25, only to fall to the Lady Maroons in the end, 45-43.
“Mahirap siya maghabol and sobra yung pressure, kasi dapat kami yung lamang kumpara sa kanila [UP],” said Romero on their valiant rally.
On the final day of competition, Orozco, Licono, Rodriguez, and Jairus Quevada garnered a bronze medal in the team Foil event as they fell 11 points short against the UP Fighting Maroons. Meanwhile, Montenegro, Romero, Castilo and Nichole Apacible were crushed by the UE Lady Warriors, 45-26, in the team Epee event, where they took the silver medal. Montenegro, Romero, Shoemaker, and Jianne Piguing also competed in the team Sabre event, gaining a bronze medal after falling to UST.
With their fifth-place finish, the Green Fencers added six points to the UAAP General Championship (GC) points tally of La Salle, while the Lady Fencers added 10 points from their fourth-place finish. GC rivals UST came away with second place in both the men’s and women’s divisions, with each team earning 12 points in the process. After the conclusion of this season’s fencing tournament, La Salle trails UST, 179-169, in the UAAP Season 78 GC race.