The UAAP Season 79 Taekwondo Tournament, which was held last October 21 and 23 to 24 at the Blue Eagle Gym, saw numerous teams rise and fall from their rankings last season. The De La Salle Taekwondo (DELTA) Men’s and Women’s Poomsae Teams dominated the mats as they both clinched the gold for this year’s competition.
However, both the DELTA Kyorugi (sparring) Teams fell short of a podium finish. Both teams showed determination to improve on their respective third place finishes from last year’s competition, but the men’s and women’s teams concluded this year’s season in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
DLSU bags poomsae title
Placing third behind UP and UST last season, the DELTA Poomsae Team was determined to bring home the crown for this year’s UAAP season. Angelica Gaw, a sophomore, discussed how strenuous their four to six hour training sessions were everyday–from strengthening their core to their legs, as well as their mentality, just to get into that championship-worthy form. “Super hard ng training namin. We start 5 am to 7 am, tapos sa hapon, minsan 6 to 8 pm kami, and nag-oovertime din minsan.”
The Green-and-White started strong as McAvyngyr Alob, who scored a total of 8.27 points, won bronze, just .31 points short from UST Growling Tiger Rodolfo Reyes Jr. who won gold in the the individual male poomsae tournament. Another medal was then secured for DLSU as Rinna Babanto won by a large margin compared to her opponents in the finals, scoring 8.43 and clinching the gold medal in the individual female poomsae category.
Gaw and Raphael Mella then went to represent DELTA in the mixed poomsae competition. Scoring 8.44 in the eliminations, right behind UST and UP, gave them a spot to compete in the finals, where Gaw and Mella performed the Pyongwon first and received a rating of 8.64. For the second round, they performed the Taebaek where they scored higher, 8.68, thus giving them the total of 8.66. Their near perfect routine earned La Salle a gold medal as UP finished second, 8.59, and UST third, 8.53.
In the team female category, La Salle was bannered by Kristi Hernandez, Babanto, and Gaw. The women’s team garnered a score of 8.37 in the elimination round, securing them a spot in the finals with the UST Growling Tigresses and UP Lady Maroons. Performing the Pyongwon and Sipjin, La Salle finished second, with an 8.54 rating, just right behind UP who got the gold with 8.60 points.
For the team male category, Benjamin Sembrano, Mella, and Alob went ahead and secured the second spot in the eliminations with 8.58 points. In the finals, the DELTA Men’s Team came close to having a flawless routine only to commit minor errors in the closing stages of their performance. They were given a rating of 8.41. UP then went to perform the same routine, but also committed similar mistakes and garnered 8.34 points. It was UST’s Adrian Ang, Jerel Dalida, and Reyes Jr., who went ahead and clinched the gold with a score of 8.64 from their impeccable performance of the Taebaek and Keumgang.
The gold, silver, and bronze medals were then tallied for each school where DLSU was declared champions as the Lasallians accumulated a total of two gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. UST came in second with a 2-0-2 tally, and UP at third with a 1-2-2 tally.
The DELTA Kyorugi Women’s Team finished its first day of the tournament strong, with wins against the ADMU Lady Eagles, 5-2, and an interesting match against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, where they dominated six out of seven games. On the other hand, Carlo Dionisio of the kyorugi men’s team opened the match against UP Fighting Maroon Raymundo Alombro. It was at the seventh match of the game where La Salle’s Karl Delos Santos gave the first fright of the team as he went on a tiebreaker match against Christian Mapaco. The winner was determined by sudden death, where DLSU emerged victorious. Another tiebreaker match was seen by the men’s team in their second game, but they succumbed, 4-3, to the FEU Tamaraws.
Both teams entered the second day of the tournament with determination to win the rest of their games. After suffering a defeat the day before, the men’s team went ahead and won both assignments against the ADMU Blue Eagles, 5-2, and the powerhouse UST Growling Tigers, with the same scoreline. The victories of the Lasallians in the men’s category placed them on top of the standings with UST and the UE Red Warriors with a 3-1 win-loss record. However, the women’s team placed third with UST after the second day of competition as it yielded to the UP Lady Maroons, 5-2, and last season’s runner-up, the UE Lady Warriors in a close-fought 4-3 game.
On the last day of the tournament, both teams donning the Green-and-White succumbed in their last two games. In the women’s category, the Lasallians ended their campaign with a 2-4 win-loss record as they lost to the UST Growling Tigresses, 4-3, and to the NU Lady Bulldogs, 6-1. La Salle concluded this year’s tournament with a 3-3 win-loss standing in the men’s category after bowing to UE and getting upset by the NU Bulldogs, with identical 4-3 scorelines.
Women’s overall winners and individual awardees
NU surprised many, as the Lady Bulldogs captured their first-ever crown at the UAAP Women’s Taekwondo Tournament after a six-match elimination round sweep. Lady Bulldog Shiryl Badol was awarded as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the women’s category. The Growling Tigresses came in second, and ADMU, another team to have a podium finish for the first time, came in at third. The Lady Eagles were spearheaded by the Rookie of the Year (ROY), Pauline Lopez.
Even if the DELTA Women’s Team finished sixth overall, Gab Yuchingtat won gold in the middle-heavyweight division. Flyweight Lovely Avancena and lightweight Camille Bonje also took home individual bronze medals for La Salle. Other individual gold medalists were UE’s Karen Cells (finweight), NU’s Grace Garfin (flyweight), ADMU’s Jennevive de Asis (bantamweight), NU’s Rhezie Aragon (featherweight), NU’s Badol (lightweight), and FEU’s Clouie Bolinas (welterweight).
Men’s overall winners and individual awardees
Meanwhile, UST captured its third consecutive Men’s Taekwondo championship, with MVP Aries Capispisan leading the Growling Tigers. NU failed to complete a championship double and settled for second place as the Bulldogs yielded to the Growling Tigers earlier on in the tournament. Meanwhile, FEU settled with third, finishing with a 4-2 win-loss record.
Though the DELTA Men’s Team was also short of a podium finish as it placed fifth, La Salle’s Dionisio took home ROY honors in the male category and bagged the individual gold medal in the finweight category. Kyle Arsenal and Kyle Uy also bagged the individual flyweight bronze and lightweight silver medals, respectively, for the Green-and-White. Other individual gold medalists were ADMU’s Aaron Agojo (flyweight), NU’s Diether Baylon (bantamweight), FEU’s Kristian Tagarao (featherweight), UP’s Karlos Gaerlan (lightweight), NU’s Arven Alcantara (welterweight), and UST’s Aries Capispisan (middle-heavyweight).
With the poomsae championship, La Salle managed to earn 15 points for its UAAP General Championship (GC) Race. On the other hand, with fifth and sixth place finishes from the Green-and-White in the kyorugi competition, both teams combined for 10 GC points.