Last June 15, the DLSU Lady Woodpushers ended their UAAP Season 84 campaign finishing second behind the NU Lady Bulldogs, while the DLSU Green Woodpushers finished fourth after the second round of elimination.
To this, DLSU head coach Susan Grace Neri commented on the feats that her team achieved this season, “I think we have found a very good team chemistry that can withstand the pressure of the goal we want to achieve. Now, we are more focused [on] improving our techniques and strategies we need for the podium.”
After ranking sixth last season, the Green Woodpushers improved their standing to fourth place this Season 84. The Green and White scored a total of 23.5 points throughout the compressed tournament schedule. Asserting their dominance on the boards, the UST Male Woodpushers garnered 28 points after 10 rounds to bag the title this year.
Meanwhile, the Lady Woodpushers fell short in reclaiming their championship from Season 81, but still garnered an impressive second-place finish this year. Despite a 3-0 sweep in the Final Four stage of the tournament, the Lady Woodpushers ultimately succumbed to the NU Lady Bulldogs—who grabbed the championship by outscoring DLSU, 26.5-21, in the first round and the Final Four combined.
Green Woodpushers team captain Daniel Lemi stated that he is happy with his team’s showing this season, “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, since we’ve all worked very hard for this during the past two years.” For Lemi, the journey of his team started back in Season 82 when most of the team were rookies. “I’ve seen our team gradually mature to reach where we are today,” he expressed.
Meanwhile, Lady Woodpusher Samantha Revita is satisfied with her team’s finish, “With our performance in the last UAAP [season], I believe that we can still strive to bring back the championship to DLSU.”
After a grueling two weeks, paired with consecutive days of hustle on the boards, the Green Woodpushers’ Lemi secured a gold medal on Board 5 recording seven wins in 10 matches. In addition to the team captain’s success, Cyril Telesfor and Jester Sistoza each brought home a gold medal for La Salle on Boards 4 and 6, respectively. Telesfor also expressed his satisfaction over his first season, “I’m very proud…to have [represented] our alma mater.”
Aside from capping the tournament with a podium finish, the Lady Woodpushers also bagged several individual accolades. Francois Magpilay snatched a gold on Board 3 over NU’s Kylen Mordido after a head-to-head match up, while Sara Olendo settled for silver on Board 4.
What comes next?
After a successful campaign in the UAAP Season 84 Chess tournament, the team is already looking to improve their performance for the coming season. For Neri, “Maybe we look forward to a more matured team composition next season and stronger enough to make and stay in the podium.” She also cited how the Lady Woodpushers were even undermanned throughout the season, “[They] still delivered and continued our 14 years legacy of being [on] the podium.” To this, Revita expressed, “We learned a lot from our games last UAAP Season 84 and we aim to come back stronger next season with our continuous preparation-mentally and physically.”
On the other hand, Lemi stated that technical skills such as decision-making in the opening, middlegame, and endgame phases are “crucial to come back even stronger next season.”