La Salle, UST rule UAAP taekwondo tournament
Mary Ioannina Langit (right) of La Salle dominates UP's Bettina Someros in their middle-heavyweight clash.

LA SALLE edged University of the Philippines, 4-3, on Tuesday to clinch its first its first UAAP women’s taekwondo title in 14 years, while University of Santo Tomas successfully retained the men’s title after defeating UP, 5-2, on Wednesday.

Middle-heavyweight Ynah Langit defeated Bettina Someros, 11-4, to provide the decisive win for the Lady Archers at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

By completing a six-game elimination sweep, La Salle bagged its fifth women’s taekwondo title overall and the first since the 1998 season.

The title-clinching victory did not come easy for the Lady Archers as they trailed the Lady Maroons, 1-3, going into the fifth bout.

Lightweight Jyra Lizardo whipped Marigold Taculog, 13-0, while welterweight Patricia Gonzalez turned back Cyrmyn Perlas, 8-2, for La Salle.

“We really prepared for it.  Nahinog na kami,” said coach Stephen Fernandez, who has been with La Salle for 24 years.

“To win it, we have to beat the best teams in the league. The matches are difficult for us and I’m really grateful that the team to pull thru this year.  It’s a collective effort,” he added.

UP, which scored a 5-2 win over tournament newcomer National University in the morning session, wound up in fourth place with a 3-3 slate.

In the men's division, last season’s MVP Dane Pio de Roda, Marae Anthony Deo and Christian Al dela Cruz provided the Growling Tigers’ last three victories to break away from a 2-2 standoff.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Fighting Maroons, who entered the match with a five-game winning streak and needed only to win their final elimination match to wrest the crown.

UST, La Salle and UP actually ended up in a three-way tie at 5-1, but the España-based jins clinched the championship via a superior quotient.

The Tigers bagged their 11th men’s taekwondo diadem, the most by any team in the league, while the Green Archers and the Maroons settled for second and third place, respectively.

UST also won three of the five gold medals at stake in the demonstration event poomsae.

Shaneen Sia ruled the female individual event for the second straight year and later joined forces with fellow World Championships veteran Marvin Gabriel in bagging the gold medal in the mixed pair event.

The Growling Tigers, led by Gabriel also won the gold in the male team event.

In other poomsae results, FEU beat UST win clinch the gold medal in the female team event, while UP’s Dustin Mella defeated Gabriel to win the men’s individual gold.

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