UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas completed an unbeaten season to annex the men’s crown, even as University of the Philippines ended a 12-year wait for the women’s tiara in the UAAP Season 77 taekwondo tournament on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Tiger Jins edged the Fighting Maroons, 4-3, to complete a sweep of its six assignments and claim their 12th title overall.
“Sobrang saya since last playing year ko na. Kasi pinaghirapan din talaga namin, bawat isa nagsumikap talaga para maibalik sa amin ang championship,” said Paul Romero, who won the men's MVP honors.
With season MVP Charizza Camille Alombro leading the way, UP defeated La Salle, 5-2, for its second title.
The Lady Maroons, who won the championship in 2002 behind Sugar Catalan, finished the season with a 5-1 slate, with the lone setback coming at the hands of the former champion Tigresses, whose roster are filled with national team mainstays.
“Matagal na naming hinihintay na mag-champion ang women’s team. Nagtiwala kami na kahit anong nangyari, kaya naming mag-champion at naging united kami,” said the 19-year old Alombro.
University of the East and National University achieved podium finishes in the men's division.
The Red Warriors downed the Green Archers, 4-3, to finish second with a 5-1 card, while the Bulldogs, only in their second year of participation in the event, ended third despite a 3-4 loss to Far Eastern University. NU and La Salle wound up at 3-3, but the Bulldogs took the third place trophy by virtue of the winner-over-the-other rule.
“Yung NU at UE, nagte-train ng mabuti para makasabay na sila sa mga dating champion Sa game ngayon, hindi mo masasabi kung sino ang magaling, kung sino talaga ang malakas. It’s more kung sino ang mas malakas sa katawan. Nagma-matter na yung flexible ka at yung sumipa sa ulo,” said Romero.
UST dropped a close 3-4 defeat to FEU which doomed the España lady jins’ chance of annexing a 13th title. The Lady Archers, Tigresses and Lady Tamaraws all wound up with 4-2 marks, but La Salle and UST took second and third place, respectively, due to superior quotient.
The Rookie of the Year honors went to the Tigers’ Aries Capispisan in the men’s division and Camille Bonje of the Lady Archers in the women’s side.
The gold medalists in the men’s division are FEU’s Ariel Bacud (finweight) and Elijah Marcelino (feather), UST’s Rhayzor Catris (fly), Gian Rubio (bantam), La Salle’s Kiko Sembrano (light), NU’s Arven Alcantara (welter) and UP’s Guillano de Dios (middle heavy).
Winning the gold in the distaff side were FEU’s Ronnielette Balancio (fin) and Clouie Bolinas (welter), UST’s Korina Paladin (fly) and Jane Narra (middle heavy), UP’s Stephanie Osio (bantam), NU’s Shiryl Badol (feather) and Bonje (light).