UAAP MVPs lead PH Asean U-Games delegation
THREE UAAP Most Valuable Players lead the Philippine team vying to surpass its previous fifth-place finish in the 16th Asean University Games today in Vientiane, Laos.
La Salle’s swimming star Johansen Aguilar, Far Eastern University’s athletics ace Jesson Cid and University of Santo Tomas’ taekwondo standout Christian Al Dela Cruz banner the UAAP-Philippine Team also bidding for gold medals in badminton, judo, archery and diving.
Aguilar, also the UAAP Athlete of the Year last season, hopes to defend his men’s 200m backstroke crown in the biennial meet that gathers the top varsity players in the region.
Thailand bagged the overall championship with a 58 gold-61 silver-50 bronze medal haul when it hosted the 2010 edition in Chang Mai.
The Philippines wound up fifth overall with five gold medals, three coming from swimming, on top of four silvers and 24 bronzes.
But Team UAAP-Philippines aims to do better in more events with Cid fresh from powering the Tamaraws to a third straight athletics title and national player and former MVP Toby Gadi of Ateneo also expected to perform.
UAAP Season 75 president Nilo Ocampo of host National University heads the delegation.
Indonesia also came out strong in the last edition with a second-best 46 gold-51 silver-50 bronze output, followed by 2008 overall winner Malaysia with a 37-36-44 medal output. Jasmine W. Payo