Three seems like a magical number for the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas.
As the five competing universities entered the 5,000-seater Fil-Oil Arena in the heart of San Juan, the Green-and-White Judokas came in last with a strong and united but serene vibe as they walked each teammate holding the shoulder of the other, and stepped forward with their heads bowed. The air was filled with dramatic silence as one of the biggest Judo teams slowly entered the battlefield.
The Judo tournament of UAAP Season 73, the last competition for the first half of athletic events, happened Oct. 9-10. Matches were held using a double-round robin format, which means that each school battled all the others schools twice.
When the smoke of the battle cleared, the Green and Lady Judokas both bagged the third spot, as they trampled most of the opposition and offered tough matches to their opponents and made sure each match was no give-away.
Lady Judokas Renelyn Benigay and Nikki More led the team as they won gold and silver medals, respectively, both in the Half-Lightweight division.
Holdovers Florence Payno and Dian So continued DLSU’s silver in their respective divisions as well. Rounding out the list of be-medalled Lady Judokas were bronze medalists were Jerika Senales and Mariel Martinez.
The Green Judokas, meanwhile, were led by Half-Middleweight Anthony Abellar and Middleweight Butch Albarracin as they both bagged silver medals.
Bronze medalists filled the team as seven Judokas from different weight divisions mirrored their overall rankings and clinched the third spot in their respective matches.
First on the list of accomplished bronze medalists is three-time gold and two-time bronze medalist Gerard Teruel, the Green Judokas captain for the Extra Lightweight division.
Joshua Regala and Dominic Tuazon equaled their feat in the Half-Lightweight division, while Half-Middleweight Andrew Laxa, Middleweight Julius Sisante, Half-Heavyweight Julio Fernandez and Heavyweight Joshua Maligaya all ended the season with aplomb.
One unfortunate repercussion of the highly competitive matches was the injuries incurred by various athletes.
Green Judoka William Chia suffered from a shoulder injury due to a bad fall during the first day of the tournament during his match against Ateneo.
Chia was supposed to have another match against a teammate but was not granted because of his condition. The competing schools also suffered more injuries during the second day of competition.
The Lady Judokas retained their position last Season 72, while the Green Judokas made strides as they improved a notch higher compared with last season, where they only finished fourth.