After ending his National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Juniors Division career as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for taekwondo in the league’s 91st season, all eyes were on Carlo Dionisio as he made the transition to the UAAP.
In his rookie season representing La Salle, Dionisio was also able to cope with the pressure that came with being a member of the Philippine National Team. He was able to live up to expectations and proved to be a prized rookie for Coach Roberto “Kitoy” Cruz.
Dionisio represented DLSU in the finweight category, and was featured as the first jin on the men’s team to compete in every tie. On the opening day of the tournament, he immediately made himself known after he won his match against the UP Fighting Maroons’ Raymundo Alombro after the latter was disqualified. Throughout the competition, Dionisio continued to impress, not only the audience, but the judges as well, with his sparring skills and quick thinking.
The La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) alumnus was one of the few players from the Green-and-White who was triumphant in majority of his games. With a 5-1 personal win-loss record, Dionisio only succumbed to NU Bulldogs’ Alfred Joseph Avila after a close 9-8 match.
The team from Taft struggled for a podium finish on the last day of the tournament after losing to the UE Red Warriors and Bulldogs with identical 4-3 score lines. Finishing the season with a 3-3 win-loss record, DLSU placed fifth overall in the competition.
Nevertheless, Dionisio bagged the individual gold medal in the finweight category, and was recognized as the Rookie of the Year. “I felt happy when I received the Rookie of the Year award because all the preparations I did for this season really paid off,” he shared. Later on, he also mentioned that his recognition only motivates him to train even harder for a greater performance next year.
The Lasallians may have fallen short of a podium finish this season, but Dionisio proved to be a dependable athlete that the team can count on in the coming years. “For the next year, I’ll train harder with the team so that we can achieve our ultimate goal, and that is to be crowned as the UAAP champions,” he added.
As the team is set to lose the likes of Kyle Uy and Pogs Jazmines, Dionisio will be even more vital in La Salle’s journey to winning the championship. Now with a year of collegiate experience under his belt, he has the opportunity to further develop his fighting style in preparation for next year’s campaign.
There will once again be high expectations for Dionisio to at least match or improve upon this season’s stellar showing.
Honorable mention: Nathan Andrew Siasico (men’s table tennis), Paeng Siggaoat (men’s football), and Aljun Melecio (men’s basketball)