Following a subpar season last year, the DLSU Fencing Team made a massive improvement in the team standings as both the Green Fencers and the Lady Fencers ended Season 80 with a podium finish. “Masaya naman. Nag-eenjoy naman yung mga bata at malaki naman yung in-improve ng lahat eh,” shared head coach Al Vizcayno hours before the tournament ended.
(We’re happy. The kids are enjoying and we all improved a lot.)
The Green Fencers bettered their fifth place finish in Season 79 as team captain David Lumahan and Vincent Tibus led the team with two bronze medals each. Divine Romero bagged home four medals to help lift the Lady Fencers from their fourth place finish in the previous campaign.
Meanwhile, UE continued its dominant run in the tournament as the Red Warriors clinched their sixth consecutive title, while the Lady Warriors conquered the competition for the eleventh straight year in the event that finished last Sunday, February 11, at the PSC Fencing Hall inside the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City.
At the beginning of the tournament, both individuals of the Men’s Epee and Saber had different outcomes. Representatives for the Epee event, Hadj Satinitigan and Peter Nieto, placed fifth and sixth, respectively, as the UST Growling Tigers won gold.
While in the individual saber contest, the pair of Lumahan and Tibus both managed to obtain bronze, at the same time, the UE Red Warriors received both gold and silver medals for placing first and second. The men’s team suffered a minor setback the following day, however, after both Peter Nieto and Keith Medina failed to make the individual foil knockout stage while UE continued to dominate after claiming their second gold medal for their Men’s tournament.
Lumahan commended the efforts exhibited by the Epee individuals, saying, “Even though nag-fall short sila sa match nila, sobrang ganda ng pinakita nila dun sa game na ‘yun, masasabi ko naman na nag-improve sila ng malaki [at] di naman nila ni-let down sarili nila [at] di nila sinayang training nila.”
(Even though they fell short in their individual matches, they showed great improvement and they didn’t let their training go to waste.)
As for the individuals of saber, Lumahan explained that both he and his teammate Tibus gave their best effort because, while in the middle of their matches, they would always motivate one another. The two of them always helped each other, kept the other person updated on the score, pointed out their mistakes, and told the other what he can do to improve. They gave it their all because Lumahan believed that both he and Tibus did not plan on wasting a year’s worth of effort and wanted to make the most of the 20 minutes that they had for the tournament.
The third day of event saw the outset of the team matches for the Green Fencers. Medina, Nieto, Satinitigan, and Maurice Uy of the Epee team first faced UE in the semifinals but failed to advance to the finals, losing, 34-45—giving them no choice but to settle for the bronze medal, along with their archrivals the ADMU Blue Fencers, who also failed to progress to the finals after losing to UST. The Saber team would also receive bronze, after Won Cho, Joshua Lee, Lumahan, and Tibus failed to beat UST, 36-45.
The team did not end the tournament on a high note, however, as the Foil team fell short of making it to semifinals after Lumahan, Medina, Nieto, and Santinitigan lost to the UP Fighting Maroons in a close 40-45 match.
Despite not being able to receive any medals for the event, Lumahan had nothing but compliments for his teammates, “Yung nangyari naman dun sa team event [ng Foil], alam ko naman na binigay nila yung lahat nila and binigyan nila ng magandang laro so para sa akin kahit na isa lang yung Foil player talaga, masasabi kong gusto lahat ibigay yung best kapag naglalaro,” Lumahan shared.
(What happened during the team event, I know they gave it their all and played a good game. Even though there was only one true Foil player in the team, I can say that they really wanted to give their best whenever they play.)
The first day of the individual competition in the Women’s Foil was a mixed bag as Divine Romero quickly won a medal as she finished second behind Wilhelmina Lozada of UE. Team captain Pat Eusebio also competed but finished in the bottom half of the rankings. Eusebio later admitted that she got off to a rough start and was very disappointed in her performance but bounced back strong in the team events to help La Salle earn a few more medals. “Kinausap ako nila coach. Sabi nila, magtiwala ka sa sarili mo and magagawa mo.’ So ‘yun ginawa ko.”
(The coaches talked to me. They told me that I should believe in myself and I can do it.)
The individual competition for the Women’s Epee in day two of the tournament was a success for the Green-and-White as Romero and Nichole Apacible were ranked second and third, respectively, with UE’s Mickyle Bustos claiming the top spot. On the same day, Romero and Jianne Piguing participated in the individual competition of the Women’s Sabre but both ended up in the bottom half of the rankings.
Day three was the start of the team competitions for the Lady Fencers and first up was the team Foil event. Eusebio, Romero, Nicole Alcaraz, and Chloei Rudio were able to reach the semifinals after dispatching archrivals AdMU Lady Eagles, 45-18, but succumbed to the UE Lady Warriors right after, 45-43. “Maybe it’s not yet our time, kasi sila pa rin nanalo,” Eusebio said. Despite falling to the eventual champions, the Lady Fencers were able to stage a podium finish after defeating the UST Lady Tigresses in the battle for third.
The Lady Fencers had two more team competitions on the last day as they participated in the Women’s Epee and Women’s Sabre events. A team composed of Apacible, Eusebio, Romero, and Katrina Castañeda finished the Epee event in second place as they escaped past the AdMU Lady Eagles, 40-39, in the semifinals. In the finals, the Lasallians tried to dethrone the defending champions but fell short, 45-30.
In the closing stages of the UAAP Season 80 Fencing Tournament, the Green-and-White had one more event to compete in. Despite finishing last in the Sabre event, the Lady Fencers were still able to end the season on a high note as their accumulated points, since the first day, were enough to lift them from fifth place last year to third place in this year’s campaign.
“For me, ito yung season na pinaka-naenjoy ko talaga kasi even before our games I really felt that, you know, the team and I had a very good relationship with one another. Kasi ito yung first time na parang na-fefeel ko talaga na maganda yung preparation and yung relationship namin sa isa’t-isa maganda, so that I think contributed to a lot of the improvement in performance,” Eusebio ended.
(For me, this season was the most enjoyable because even before our games, I felt that the team had a good relationship with one another. This is the first time that I felt we prepared well and the relationship of the players with one another contributed a lot of our improvement.)