UAAP: Hajime! DLSU Judokas suit up for Season 78

Hungry for a championship—these words best describe the mindset of both the Green Judokas and the Lady Judokas as they enter this year’s tournament. The men’s team has yet to lift the coveted UAAP title but have been inching their way close every year. On the other hand, it has been 24 months since the Lady Judokas brought home the hardware in UAAP Season 76. However, it seems the drought has finally come to pass as this year’s team is as promising as any powerhouse club.

Bonded by their teamwork and determination, Judokas head coach Sam Bernales and his fighters are deep into their preparation for the upcoming UAAP season this November.


Polishing their technique

According to Lady Judokas team captain and multi-gold medalist Marjorie Santiago, the team has been intensively focusing on their strength and conditioning. Santiago, a 1st Dan Black Belt, explains that the Judokas will focus on their technique this season.

The DLSU Judo Team will also be having rookies onboard for Season 78. The team has participated in other summer tournaments to give their rookies opportunities to gain experience.

Keith Reyes, who will be playing in his first UAAP season, emphasizes the strengths of his team, “Players are aggressive [towards] the training program provided by our coach. They are [more] focused so I can say that we will be prepared for the upcoming tournament.”

Besides their technique and strength, Santiago says that the team’s goals will revolve around respect. She also adds that players treat everyone as family and says that this will be a huge factor coming into the UAAP.

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Uphill battle

One major problem the Lady Judokas will have to fight through is the ACL injury of Santiago. The seasoned veteran will be forced to sit this season out, but will continue coaching her fellow Judokas from the sidelines. “Actually I feel bad na hindi ako makakalaro at makakatrain with my teammates, minsan nakakainggit. But for the mean time, I am always present during training to monitor their progress and support them,” Santiago explains when asked about not playing this season.

In addition, both Reyes and Santiago expound on the team’s exposure and experience. “Without a lot of exposure, [the rookies] will be having a hard time performing on the mats. As seniors, we’re trying our best to expose them as much as possible so they will not have any problems once they enter the UAAP,” Reyes adds.

Besides being a UAAP rookie himself, Reyes is a senior Brown Belt. When asked about his contribution this coming season, he mentions that the team is looking forward to having him on their side. “I’m expected to deliver right away to my opponents, and be the head start of the team,” says Reyes.

Joining Reyes in the men’s team will be Adrian Perillo, who has recently been awarded with his Black Belt, and Vince David, who is also a senior Brown Belt.


Redeem Team

With less than a quarter remaining for the team’s preparation, both the Green Judokas and the Lady Judokas have already established the factors that they need to improve on. “Siguro the women’s team needs to improve on their confidence. [They need] to push on [one] another to make it happen, to improve last year’s standings. Kasi [they] all have their skills and potential, kulang lang sa push and confidence. But overall, mas maraming player and recruit this year compared to last year. Also, some of the seniors will be playing their last UAAP season,” Santiago says.

“[We are] preparing the rookie players for the UAAP. Last year, a lot of our seniors graduated and left the team with a line up that’s incomplete. Now, rookies are filling in this line up with the help of our coaches and the captains of the team,” Reyes explains.

This coming November, the entire DLSU Judo team will exchange throws once more in the biggest stage of the collegiate level. On their corner will be their coaches, family, and the entire Lasallian community supporting them all the way.

Luigi Jacinto

By Luigi Jacinto

17 replies on “UAAP: Hajime! DLSU Judokas suit up for Season 78”


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