The DLSU Green Judokas clinched third place in the UAAP Season 78 Judo Championships, falling to the top two finishers ADMU and UST, while the Lady Judokas finished in fifth place for the second straight year in the competition that was held last November 18 and 19 at the St. Benilde Gymnasium in La Salle Green Hills.
Men’s division champions ADMU completely dominated the scene with their outstanding technique and consistency, while UST had lorded over the competition by converting on various ippon opportunities.
Both of DLSU’s Judo teams combined for only one gold, one silver, and six bronze medals. Green Judokas Michael Borja and Adrian Perillo came home empty handed after having faced tough opponents in their respective divisions. On the other hand, the Lady Judokas, who clinched their first Judo championship in 2013, were missing the services of captain Marjorie Santiago, who was sitting on the sidelines due to an injury.
Rookie Keith Reyes was one of the bright spots for DLSU in the tournament as he clinched the University’s lone gold medal after defeating ADMU’s Rafael Cadiente in the finals of the heavyweight division. In the final moments of the match, Reyes took down Cadiente and scored an ippon that sealed the victory in his favor.
Green Judokas David Gordon and Vincent David snatched bronze medals that further brought La Salle up in the standings, while Norman Chua clinched DLSU’s only silver medal in what was arguably one of the tournament’s more exciting matches. Lady Judokas Freesia Heradez, Mia Baguisi, Justine Pongase, and Carmilia Cadorna won bronze medals for La Salle as well, with Cadorna placing third in the featherweight division.
Even after a disappointing showing at this year’s competition, both teams have already recognized the areas they need to improve on in the offseason. With a few more months before the new UAAP season opens, expect Bernales and his resilient team to use their performance this season as motivation to do even better in Season 79.