NU strikes golden double in UAAP taekwondo
National University completed a golden double in the UAAP Season 81 taekwondo tournament after its men’s and women’s teams ruled over their respective divisions Friday at Blue Eagle Gym.
The Lady Bulldogs had a perfect season, going on a 6-0 sweep of the field to capture their third straight title, while the Bulldogs got stunned in their first game of the competition, losing to Ateneo.
The Bulldogs quickly recovered from that defeat and won five straight capped off with a 4-3 squeaker over La Salle for their second straight championship.
Despite the absence of twins Rhezie and Rheza Aragon, who graduated after Season 80, the Lady Bulldogs were able to defend their crown behind Season MVP Angie Dayag and Rookie of the Year Veronica Garces who won gold medals in the welterweight and finweight divisions, respectively.
Middleweight/heavyweight Aideleen Flroes was the other gold medalist for NU.
“The departure of Ate Kambal (the Aragons) was a big factor because they’ve brought so much to the team every season, but we trained doubly harder, and we really poured everything in our year-long training,” said the third-year Dayag in Filipino.
“Whatever happens we will defend the title. Every time we step on the mat, we should show something new because we’re the champions, the defending champions.”
The Lady Bulldogs overcame University of Santo Tomas in their final match taking a 5-2 win in a meeting of undefeated teams.
The Tigresses would then settle for the silver medal.
UST also grabbed the silver medal in the men’s division despite tying the Bulldogs in the win-loss column, 5-1.
The Bulldogs were able to take the title after their 6-1 win over the Tiger Jins in the second day of the tournament.
“When we lost, we actually cried but that was the wakeup call for us so we just got back and beat our opponents,” said Kurt Barbosa in Filipino who won the MVP with the finweight gold.
La Salle’s Akila Gabrielle Boloto, the gold medalist in the women’s lightweight division, was the top rookie in the women’s division while Ateneo’s Harley Santos, the flyweight champion, was the Rookie of the Year in the men’s division.
Other champions in the men’s division are Ateneo’s Aaron Agojo (bantamweight) and Paul Cham (featherweight), UST’s Juan Miguel Ramos (lightweight), and La Salle’s Alvaro Aranton (middle/heavyweight).
The other gold medalists in the women’s division are Ateneo’s Pauline Lopez (featherweight), La Salle’s Jovelyn Avanceña (finweight), and University of the Philippines’ Beatrice Gaerlan (bantamweight).
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