UAAP: Green Fencers placed third in overall ranking of UAAP Season 86, Lady Fencers bag two silvers

The DLSU Green and Lady Fencers racked up several podium finishes in the UAAP Season 86 Fencing Tournament held last March 14 to 17 at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion. The Green Fencers took home six medals and was second runner-up overall behind the UE Red Warriors and the UST Growling Tigers. In the Women’s Division, the Lady Fencers placed fourth out of five with two silvers and two bronzes.

Individual matchups

On the first day of the tournament, Green Fencer Edan Ensamtan earned the first gold and podium finish for La Salle in the Men’s Épée Individual, defeating fellow Lasallian Ken Panes in the quarterfinals, 15-10. Afterward, Ensamtan bested Lorenzo Malvar of UP in their semifinal bout, 15-13. Ultimately, the would-be champion toppled Aurell Obzunar of UE in the Finals in dominant fashion, 15-8. 

In the Women’s Épée Individual, Lady Fencer Krups Ednilag complemented the Green Fencer’s efforts with a third-place finish, falling short at the hands of fellow Lasallian Cyrra Vergara in their battle in the semis, 15-13. Vergara dominated Francessca Bernabe of ADMU in the quarterfinals, 15-8. After that, she slid past her teammate Ednilag in the semifinals but lost to the eventual champion Julia Gomez of UP by a slim margin, 15-14. Despite this, Vergara was able to snatch another silver medal for DLSU.

Team games

The quartet of Christian Buenaventura, Miguel Camero, Gabriel Enciso, and John Gajon competed in the Men’s Sabre Team competition for La Salle. The Green Fencers defeated the UE Red Warriors in their quarterfinal matchup, 45-40. Then, they got through to the Finals after getting the better of their archrival ADMU Blue Eagles, 45-42. Despite their efforts, the Taft-based squad eventually lost to UST Growling Tigers for the championship, 45-37, bringing home the silver.

On the other hand, Francis Dela Paz, Sean Razos, Panes, and Ensamtan represented La Salle in the Men’s Épée Team competition. They got through to the semifinals via a bye matchup in the quarterfinals but got demolished by UP Fighting Maroons, 45-31. However, the Green Fencers finished third alongside UST, adding to La Salle’s medal haul.

The Men’s Foil Team consisting of Reindelle Lacerna, Enzo Mercado, Marion Gamilla and Dion David Gonzales also bagged a silver finish in the tournament to add to the medal tally of the Green Fencers.

For the Women’s Division, Jhon Neri, Jhoan Villapando, Ednilag, and Vergara valiantly fought throughout the competition for the Lady Fencers of Women’s Épée Team. The quartet won by the slimmest of margins against UST in the semifinals, 43-42. Ultimately, the UE Lady Warriors were no match for the Lady Fencers, losing by a huge margin of 14 points, 45-31. This placed the Green-and-White for a runner-up spot on the podium for yet another silver finish in the medal tally.

La Salle was tied with UP for third place in the Women’s Saber Team competition. Alleah Aala, Mharla Ortula, Jastine Sotto, and Vergara defeated the Blue Eagles in their quarterfinals battle, 45-42, but ended up being dominated by the Red Warriors in the semifinals, 45-10.

To end the last day of competition, the Green Fencers outlasted the host UST in their semis matchup, 45-30, but UE stopped the Cinderella run in the finals. The Red Warriors ended the potential perfect ending with a statement win against DLSU, 45-31.

Improved chemistry, training

It was a long offseason for both teams following their respective Season 85 outings, participating in tournaments determining their national rank. This, along with continuous training sessions week in and week out, the Green and Lady Fencers had their eyes locked in towards Season 86 for quite some time. “For me, ang na-improve talaga sa team is our chemistry. Fencing is an individual sport, pero with my teammates, I realized that I also need to improve myself and gano’n din sila sa’kin…tulungan talaga kami,” claimed the Women’s Team Captain Vergara.

(For me, what really improved within the team was our chemistry. Fencing is an individual sport, but with my teammates, I realized that I also need to improve myself, and the same goes for them toward me…we really help each other.)

Meanwhile, when asked about what it took to earn the sole gold medal for both La Salle squads, Ensamtan replied, “I think it’s all cumulative; the volume of the training, very brilliant teammates and coach, and good mindset and focus.” The Men’s Épée Champion further expounded on the said mindset when he faced the Red Warriors in the Finals. “Even at 13-6, [I knew] it was still not over [because] my opponent can catch up anytime. I was focused on making single touches,” the second-year player added.

For now, the Green and Lady Fencers look forward to getting their rest after a lengthy preparation for Season 86. Heading into yet another offseason, both teams plan to continue pushing through the national ranks in various tournaments, further improving their chemistry and overall getting ready for even better outings in Season 87.

EDITOR’S NOTE: April 2, 2024

The previous version of the article did not include the awards of the Men’s Foil Team. This has since been rectified. The publication apologizes for this oversight.

Gab Ortiz

By Gab Ortiz

Raphael Serrano

By Raphael Serrano

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