The UAAP Season 81 Swimming Tournament began last Thursday, November 8 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex swimming pool, and concluded earlier today, November 11. Throughout the four-day meet, the DLSU Green Tankers garnered a total of 382 points, concluding their season in second, while the Lady Tankers improved to a third place finish, earning a total score of 143 points.
The ADMU Blue Eagles were able to achieve a five-peat, while the men’s UST Swimming team dethroned the UP Varsity Swimming Team to place third. On the other hand, the ADMU Lady Eagles remained on top on their second consecutive year, followed by the women’s UP Varsity Swimming team who remained at second.
On the opening day of the tournament, the DLSU Green and Lady Tankers obtained three podium finishes. Green Tankers Gamaliel Torres, Red Silvestre, Alfonso Bautista, and Miguel Narciso copped gold medals in the Men’s 4x50m medley relay, as they clocked in at 1:48.87. In the women’s division of the same event, Maggie Mendoza, Ace Agustin, Nichole Evangelista, and Dara Evangelista bagged bronze medals and recorded a time of 2:09.24, behind ADMU and UP, respectively.
The Green Tankers continued to show their determination as they clinched the gold in the Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Through the efforts of Alnair Guevarra, Fahad Alkhaldi, Jose Ereneta, and Rochmond Santos, DLSU posted a time of 8:14.02.
In the individual events, Sacho Ilustre of the DLSU Green Tankers claimed the silver medal in the Men’s 100m Freestyle, clocking in at 52.57 behind Olympian Jessie Lacuna of ADMU, who achieved a time of 52.18. Additionally, S. Ilustre earned a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley, finishing behind ADMU’s Ianiko Limfilipino and Alberto Batungbacal, respectively. Lady Tanker D. Evangelista also earned a podium finish, as she copped the bronze medal in the Women’s 100m freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:01.76.
For individual events, S. Ilustre was able to secure the silver for the Men’s 400m freestyle finishing at 4:12.97, a few seconds behind ADMU’s Lacuna who clocked in at 4:01.98. The Green Tanker also finished second in the Men’s 100m butterfly event, posting a time of 56.23, still unable to beat Lacuna who established a new record of 55.77.
On the other hand, Jansen Chua and Bautista were able to cap gold and silver, respectively, in the Men’s 50m breaststroke, finishing in 29.90 and 30.55 seconds, respectively. Christian Sy was also able to contribute to the table after bagging a bronze at the Men’s 200m backstroke event with a recorded time of 2:13.49, behind ADMU’s Akiva Carino and Gerard Reyes who finished at 2:11.85 and 2:12.36, respectively.
In the relay events, the Green Tankers managed to secure a bronze at the 400m freestyle relay. Silvestre, Fahad Alkhaldi, Narciso and Bautista clocked in at 3:39.91, mere milliseconds behind UP who finished second at 3:39.04, and ADMU who clinched the top spot with a new recording time of 3:36.73.
Moving on to the third day of competition, the Green Tankers continued to garner medals in the individual events. In the Men’s 200m freestyle, S. Ilustre won a silver medal finishing with a time of 1:53:99 next to Lacuna of ADMU, clocking in at 1:53:40. Meanwhile, Robby Agustin secured third place in the Men’s 100m breaststroke with a recorded time of 1:08 behind ADMU’s Batungbacal and Giancarlo Silva, respectively. Meanwhile, Silvestre placed third in the Men’s 50m butterfly, clocking in at 26.40, behind Lans Donato of UP and Lacuna of ADMU.
Yuri Ilustre ranked third in the Men’s 400m individual medley event behind Batungbacal and Limfilipino of ADMU. Sy added another gold to the team’s tally as he placed first in the Men’s 100m backstroke, posting a time of 1:00. Furthermore, in the women’s division of the same event, Lady Tanker D. Evangelista finished second in the Women’s 100m backstroke and earned her team a silver medal, posting a time of 1:09.70, just behind ADMU’s Gray.
As for the Men’s 4x50m freestyle relay event, Chua, Silvestre, Bautista, and Narciso clinched gold medals, they also established a new record of 1:36:31 in the process. On the other hand, Lady Tankers D. Evangelista, Glycel So, Bettina Ting, and Jana Laurian claimed bronze medals as they posted a time of 1:58:02, behind ADMU and UP.
The last stretch of the season was a make or break day for both the Green and Lady Tankers. At the preliminary rounds, most of the Tankers were able to advance to the next round and they were able to prove how deserving they are of their spot at the finals.
DLSU sweeped the Men’s 50m backstroke event, as Green Tankers Chua, Sy, and Silvestre brought home the bronze, silver and gold medals, respectively while D. Evangelista and Canlas placed first and second, respectively for the Lady Tankers. In the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, Y. Ilustre managed to nab a bronze for the men’s team behind Ateneo’s Batungbacal and Limfilipino. S. Ilustre took home the silver at the Men’s 200m butterfly event while ADMU’s Lacuna set a new record with a time of 2:12.53.
Green Tankers’ Silvestre and S. Ilustre finished in first and third, respectively, in the Men’s 50m freestyle, while Dominic Buhain of Ateneo took home the silver. In the women’s division of the same event, D. Evangelista nabbed the second-place finish for the Lady Tankers with a recorded time of 28.35, while Ateneo’s Andrea Ngui finished first, followed by Ariana Canaya of UP who finished third. During the last event of the competition, Lady Tankers Mendoza, N. Evangelista, Erika Jaurigue, and D. Evangelista garnered bronze medals in the Women’s 4×100 medley relay, posting a time of 4:54, behind ADMU and UP.
As the four-day swim meet came to an end, DLSU’s S. Ilustre was awarded Rookie of the Year (ROY) for the men’s division while ADMU’s Dara Carreon was named ROY for the women’s division. ADMU swept the Most Valuable Swimmer awards in both divisions as Lacuna and Chloe Daos were awarded the MVP honors in their respective divisions.
Though both teams fell short to score the championship, they continued to bring strong performances in order to propel their way to podium finishes. The difficulty of encountering stronger opponents this season is nothing compared to the positive outlook and mental toughness they had.
After the culmination of this year’s competition, head coach Evan Grabador is happy with his team’s efforts and is already positively looking forward to next season. Grabador shares, “Hopefully ma–improve pa namin yung place namin and I’m very happy sa men’s and women’s team dahil nag–step up sila, lalo na on the last day.”
(Hopefully we improve our place, and I’m very happy with the men’s and women’s team because they stepped up, especially on the last day.)
Similar to their coach, both the Green and Lady Tankers, will continue to hold their heads high and remain hopeful when it comes to improving the team’s standings next season and eventually earning the gold for their respective divisions. Both team captains expressed how proud they were of their teams for stepping up their game. Paggabao stated, “Everyone stepped up and they know their role that’s why naging maayos yung performance this year.” Likewise, Agustin says, “I expect even better things to come. Like what we always say, we’re bound for more.”