LA SALLE ended University of Santo Tomas' reign by winning its first-ever poomsae championship as the UAAP Season 79 taekwondo tournament kicked off on Friday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Green Archers finally claimed what has eluded in the first three editions by hauling two golds, two silvers and a bronze medal.
“Well, in the very beginning, we always have the problem with the number of players. We are fortunate that this season, we are able to get quality players,” said La Salle coach JP Sabido.
Also winning two golds, the Tigresses settled for second place, as the España-based poomsae squad could only muster two bronzes to fall short on their bid for a third title.
Rinna Babanto opened La Salle’s onslaught by winning the gold in the women’s individual with a score of 8.43 by defeating Far Eastern University’s Charisse Jasmin (8.06) and University of the Philippines’ Patricia Jubelag (7.96).
The Archers’ other gold came from the mixed pair of Raphael Mella and Angelica Gaw with a score of 8.66, beating the Fighting Maroons’ Dustin Mella and Janna Oliva (8.59) and the Growling Tigers’ Jerel Dalida and Jocel Ninobla (8.53) in the process.
Babanto, Gaw and Hernandez captured the silver medal for La Salle in the women’s team event with a score of 8.54, while Mella, Mcavyngr Alob and Benjamin Sembrano also bagged the silver in the men’s team category with a score of 8.41.
Alob gave the Archers the lone the bronze in the men’s individual with a score of 8.27.
UST emerged victorious in the men’s individual courtesy of Rodolfo Reyes (8.58) and the men’s team of Reyes, Dalida and Adrian Ang (8.64), while the women’s team of Ninobla, Jhoana Razon and Cyrinne Abenir (8.44) secured the school’s other bronze medal.
Jubelag, Oliva and Aina Callos powered UP to its lone gold in the women’s team event (8.60). The Maroons other silver came from Dustin Mella in the men’s individual (8.46), while the men’s team of Lyon Llanto, Juanito Sandoy and Jayboy Buenavista (8.34) was the school’s other bronze medalist.
Action in the men's and women's sparring, meanwhile, will commence tomorrow at the same Katipunan venue.
UST is gunning for a record 14th men's championship, as it tries to fend off stiff challenges from last season's runner-up University of the East, National University and De La Salle.
The Lady Warriors, on the other hand, are hard-pressed for a back-to-back title romp, as the Tigresses and the Lady Archers remain as main challengers.