Numerous teams improved their rankings, while some fell from their standings last season as the UAAP Season 80 Taekwondo Tournament was held last November 14 to 17, at the Blue Eagle Gym. The De La Salle Taekwondo (DELTA) Men’s and Women’s Poomsae Teams were not able to keep the championship in Taft, falling short as they bagged silver for this year’s competition.
Meanwhile, both the DELTA Kyorugi (sparring) teams fell short of a podium finish once more. Nevertheless, the men’s and women’s divisions were able to improve on their fifth and sixth place finishes last season, as the DELTA team concluded its campaign in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
DLSU Poomsae fails to keep title
Having claimed the championships last year, the DELTA Poomsae Team expected nothing less for this season, even as the stakes were raised considering the pressure that the team faced to retain their title. They had strenuous preseason preparations to ensure their performance would be a success, such as tougher training and conditioning sessions. Benjamin Sembrano, who participated in the men’s team event, mentioned that despite all their struggles and endeavors as a team, the most important part of it all is the unity that they have.
For the individual poomsae events, the team from Taft clinched a silver medal from Rinna Babanto for the female division, as she fell short with a score of 8.165 against Jocel Ninobla of UST who scored 8.25. Likewise, McAvyngyr Alob capped bronze, gaining 8.13 points, under the male category competing with his opponents from UST and ADMU, who bagged gold and silver, respectively.
Meanwhile, in the mixed poomsae event, Raphael Mella and Angelica Gaw garnered a total of 8.25 points in the finals, earning a score of 8.23 in the first round and 8.27 points in the second round. The Green-and-White earned a silver medal, behind UST with 8.395 and followed by UP having a score of 8.235.
Sembrano, Mella, and Alob represented DLSU for the team male category and contributed gold medals to the DELTA poomsae team. With a score of 8.32, they were able to take the lead against their competitors, scoring 8.27 and 8.37 in the first and second rounds, correspondingly. However, the group for the team female category fell short of a podium finish as they placed fourth, with FEU finishing first, obtaining a total of 8.33 points with their routine.
Having garnered a total of a gold, two silver, and a bronze medal, La Salle placed second overall, earning them a spot on the podium. Even with their shortcomings from defending their title, Sembrano mentioned that no matter the outcome of the results, it is what each team deserved. UST was declared champions this Season 80 with a tally of 3-0-1, while FEU finished at third with a tally of 1-0-1.
The DELTA Kyorugi Women’s team finished its first day of the tournament with a 2-1 win-loss record. An early loss to the NU Bulldogs, where they only won two out of seven matches, gave the needed momentum for the women’s team as they won their next two games against FEU and ADMU. On the other hand, Carlo Dionisio of the Kyorugi men’s team opened the game strong as he went against NU Bulldog Jean Buan and won, 16-5. Unfortunately for the team, alongside Dionisio, only Kyle Arsenal won in the match that gave La Salle its first loss. The loss continued into their second game of the day as they lost a close one against UST through a 4-3 score.
Both teams finished the second day of the tournament with different results. After suffering two defeats the day before, the men’s team went ahead and won both assignments against the UE Red Warriors, 5-2, and the FEU Tamaraws, with the same scoreline. With the improved record, the DLSU men’s category placed third in the standings alongside UP and FEU with the same 2-2 win-loss record. NU, which had not lost in the four games it had had, finished on top and UST stood tall with a 3-1 win-loss record. However, the women’s team placed fourth, tied with ADMU, after the second day of competition as it yielded to the Growling Tigresses after a difficult match, 5-2.
The DELTA team concluded the last day of the competition as it exerted its final efforts to improve its overall ranking. The women’s team pursued its matches with determination as they gave a tough performance versus UE in its first game with 4-3, claiming a victory for DLSU, although ended its last game with results of 3-4, as it battled it out with UP securing a win for the opposing team. The Green-and-White finished the women’s category with a 3-3 win-loss ratio finishing in fifth place.
For the men’s, they had a close match going up against UP, and garnered a similar outcome as the women’s, finishing the game, 3-4. As they faced their following match against ADMU, they rounded up better results and bounced back in a 5-2 win, concluding the tournament with a 3-3 win-loss ratio, placing them just behind the podium finish in fourth place.
Women’s overall winners and individual awardees
The NU Lady Bulldogs defended their crown as they dominated the mats once more after a six-match elimination round sweep. In addition, Rheza Aragon from NU was awarded as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the women’s category. ADMU came in second with a 4-2 win-loss record, and UP, which finished with the same record as Ateneo, placed third after losing its match against the Lady Eagles.
Even though the DELTA Women’s Team finished fifth overall, Gab Yuchingtat won gold once more in the middle-heavyweight division. Meanwhile, welterweight Shanelle Romuar and lightweight Camille Bonje also took home individual silver and bronze medals, respectively, for La Salle. Other individual gold medalists were ADMU’s Irene Bermejo (Finweight), NU’s Araagon (Flyweight), NU’s Baby Canabal (Bantamweight), ADMU’s Pauline Lopez (Featherweight), and UE’s Darlene Arpon (Lightweight).
Men’s overall winners and individual awardees
Meanwhile, similar to their counterpart, the NU Bulldogs captured the Men’s taekwondo championship after going on a six-match elimination round sweep, with MVP Arven Alcantara leading the Bulldogs. UP garnered silver as they finished second with a 4-2 win-loss scoreline. On the other hand, UST failed to complete a championship double and settled for third place with the same scoreline as the Fighting Maroons, as the Growling Tigers yielded to UP earlier on in the tournament.
Though the DELTA Men’s team was also short of a podium finish as it placed fourth, La Salle’s Alvaro Aranton took home Rookie of the Year honors in the male category and bagged the individual silver medal in the Middle/Heavy weight category. Arsenal and Dionisio also bagged gold in the individual Bantamweight and Finweight for the Green-and-White. Other individual gold medalists were NU’s Noel Sabillano (Flyweight), UP’s Joshua Lazaro (Featherweight), UST’s Aries Capispisan (Lightweight), NU’s Alcantara (Welterweight), and NU’s Dave Cea (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 a fourth and fifth place finishes from the Green-and-White in the Kyorugi competition, both teams combined for 14 GC points.