DLSU Judokas miss podium, settle for fourth in UAAP Season 81 Judo

Written by: Trinity Matias and Jennifer Serrano

Day 1

The De La Salle University Green and Lady Judokas came prepared as they fought with pride and glory in their very own nest as the UAAP Season 81 Judo Meet was held in the 9th floor of Enrique Razon Sports Complex, last December 8 and 9.

For the first day of the competition, the men and women in green and white clinched 4 medals: 1 gold, 2 silvers and 1 bronze.

Green Judoka Ezra Malanos reached the finals of the -81kg category in the men’s division where he was up against Ateneo’s Henry Marguiles. In the end, Malanos secured a silver medal finish as Marguiles finished the match with an ippon. Meanwhile, in the -100kg category, two-time Half Heavyweight Champion Keith Reyes clashed against University of Santo Tomas’ George Kim in the battle for gold. Reyes fought hard to defend his crown, yet unfortunately, Kim pulled through and won the first place finish. Other Green Judokas who also battled on the first day of the meet were Lester De Guzman for the +100kg and Franco Maloles for the -90kg category.

For the Women’s Division, Lady Judoka Charmea Quelino won DLSU’s first gold medal in the competition. Quelino outlasted Almira Ruiz from UST in the finale of -57kg category. Clinching another medal for the Green and White was Lady Judoka Carmila Cadorna who won bronze in the -48kg category. Competing also for DLSU was Lady Judoka Maria Mikayla Yambao in the -52kg category.

Day 2

As the second day of the UAAP Judo Meet for Season 81 commenced on December 9, the eagerness and determination for a spot in the podium intensified for all teams, especially the DLSU Judokas.

The Lady Judokas battled their way into the grueling showdowns and pair-ups as Mary Tyler Brillo made her way to earn DLSU a bronze medal for the -78kg division alongside Khrisha Rotario UST. This adds to the achievements won by Camille Cadorna and Charmea Quelino from the first day, making the Lady Judokas earn 3 medals overall.

As for the Green Judokas, the event for the -55kg division ended with David Alexander Gordon placing first runner-up earning a silver medal as University of the Philippines’ Sean Panganiban bagged gold after the intense battle. For the -66kg division, on the other hand, DLSU’s very own Adrian Josef Perillo received a bronze medal as he shared the podium with Jeunesse Ong from UST. All in all, the Green Judokas were able to bag 4 medals for the tournament.

Overall, the DLSU Judokas garnered seven medals: 1 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze making them clinch the third runners-up for both the men’s and women’s division. With their achievements and determination, this served as a humbling experience as well as a reason for them to work harder than ever for the next season.

Green Judokas finish 3rd, Lady Judokas fall short of podium finish

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It was another astonishing season for the Green and Lady Judokas as they showcased their talent after much preparation for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 Judo Championship held last November 18- 19 at the St. Benilde Gym, LSGH hosted by the De La Salle University in partnership with the Philippine Judo Federation.

Successful Organizing

The Office of the Sports Development (OSD) staff, alumni of the DLSU Judo team, members of the Judo Club, together with the help of the President of the Philippine Judo Federation, Dave Carter were united to make it possible to run the tournament smoothly.

After five years, De La Salle University hosted the UAAP Judo Championship once again. This year’s hosting was evidently improved because the technology and software used was the latest International Judo Federation software provided by the Philippine Judo Federation. The draw and arrangements of matches, fights order shown on the screen, and improvised video for replay were used to efficiently manage the tournament.

judo 3

Slow Start

The Green and Lady Judokas looked to standout in the elimination matches to easily clinch the medal matches but in the first day of the event, the teams suffered a string of setbacks that slowly nipped away their chances of a large medal haul. After two years of residency, Green Judoka veteran Adrian Perillo (-60 kg) wasn’t able to set his momentum and fell to Marco Lasam of Ateneo De Manila University.

On the other hand, the tide turned after Edward Borja (-66 kg) won two matches in the elimination round. However, he still failed to get the bronze medal after receiving a penalty against Nathaniel Morales of University of the East (UE). Before the day ended, first medal for the Seniors Men’s Division was bagged by David Gordon (-55 kg) after overpowering Raul Baldos of UE for the bronze medal match.

Most of the Judokas lined-up for the women’s division lacked experienced but they showed perseverance on the Matts. Their performance had a good start but still failed to obtain victory in the semifinal round. Earning the first medal for the Women’s seniors division was Rookie Camille Cardona (-44 kg) who went up against with her fellow DLSU Lady Judoka Andrea Lim in the Bronze Medal match.

The rookie player Charmea Quelino fought against Co-Captain Freesia Heradez for the bronze medal in the -52kg category. Quelino failed to get a medal at the start of the season. While Heradez clinched her first medal in her UAAP career.

Glorious Victory for Green Judokas

The Second day was the most crucial day of the event in aiming to get more medals for each category to be able to finish at the podium. The beginning of the campaign was a good start for the first UAAP Season of Norman Chua (-73kg) who beat Raynato Pedrajeta of Adamson University and Niko Istrael of (UE) while team captain Michael Borja (-73 kg) failed to advance in the elimination round after losing to Lucky Flores of University of Santo Tomas (UST).  Team captain Borja suffered a sprained ligament on his right shoulder after his lost against UST. He shrugged off his injury and consistently proved himself and fought against Abdul Noor of (UE) but suffered defeat and was eliminated in the round.



Last year’s rookie of the year Vince David (-81kg) dominated his first game against Luis Benitez of (UE) and won the quarterfinals versus Nikole Ong of (UST). Unfortunately he lost in the semi final rounds and fell out against Alfred Querubin of (ADMU). However he still earned the second medal for the Green Judokas and won a bronze medal against Harmon Tuazon of (ADMU).

In the gold medal matches they queued Norman Chua (-73 kg) and Keith Reyes (+100 kg) to give two gold medals for the team. As the first experience of Norman Chua to compete in the UAAP fell short and lost his final match against Carl Dave Aseneta of (UP) and bagged silver as his first medal in the UAAP.

Despite all the bad luck that seemed to be holding the team back, one Judoka escaped unscathed as Keith Reyes (+100 kg) came out as the only bright star from DLSU as he successfully finished with his division’s gold medal and overpowered Rafael Cadiente of (ADMU) on the final match.

Lady Judokas Unfortunate Campaign

Despite the insufficient line-up of Lady Judokas for their heavy weight division, the incomplete La Salle contingent started out strong. For the heavy weight division Andreana Santos (-63 kg) finished her first match by winning against Chloe Grospe of (UE) but wasn’t able to win and fell short against Kayla Amado of (UP).

The Team captain Christine Valencia (-57 kg) failed to defeat her ace opponent Tracy Honorio of (UST) followed by the fall of Maria Baguisi against Lorelei Tolento also from (UST) after winning her first assignment against Carmela Tagle of (UE). Lady Judokas’ Arian Galfo (-70kg) and Angel Recaro (-63kg) also failed to triumph over their assignments despite giving it their all.



Meanwhile, veteran Justine Pongase (+78 kg) of DLSU was a favorite to win gold in her third straight season. Unfortunately, Pongase’s defeat during her first match against Jamaika Ponciano was unexpected, ending her campaign to bag the gold medal. However she outgunned Renielyn Castillo of (UST) for the bronze medal on her last UAAP playing year. Pongase’s last season meant a lot to her to be able to contribute on her last campaign and be able to motivate her teammates to catch the podium finish next season.

Unpredictable Season

The Green Judokas placed 3rd after earning a total of 19 points only a hair away from the University of the Philippines with 18 points. The Lady Judokas placed 5th and failed to finish on the podium again this season and earned a total of eight points.  The DLSU Judo team Coach Sam Bernales shares that Judo is a sport that is very unpredictable, “ One thing is for sure, the winner will always have the strong will to win regardless of the technique” said Bernales.

Coach Bernales is looking forward to improve the eagerness and attitude of his players to win and train hard for the next season.  He also wants to expose his players for the upcoming local tournaments to be able to develop them.




Outgunned: DLSU Judokas fall short at the Hajime! 2015 tournament


With the numerous pre-season tournaments finally receiving the spotlight, the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas also had their share of it as they once again took to the mats to prove their mettle last April 25 as they competed in the annual Hajime! Judo Tournament hosted by the Ateneo Judo Association at the ADMU-Blue Eagle Gym.

Starting strong

Despite fielding a small number of competitors due to the finals week, the small DLSU Judo Team contingent started out strong through the hands of Keith Reyes (+100kg), Ivan Oleta (-90kg) siblings Edward and Michael Borja (-73kg), Adrian Perillo and Benjamin Bologaita (-60kg) who quickly dispatched their opposition for the Green Judokas and Christine Valencia (-57kg) who did the same for the Lady Judokas.

Despite the good start through the hands of those mentioned before, The Green Judoka’s Andro Cudao (-90kg) failed to defeat his French assignment only to be followed by the fall of rookie Aaron Valera (-81kg) against his first assignment. Lady Judokas’ Arian Galfo (-70kg) and Richesa Carandang (-63kg) also fail to triumph over their assignments despite giving it their all.

String of bad luck

While initially starting strong during the elimination period of the matches, the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas suffered a string of setbacks that slowly nipped away their chances of a large medal haul. Suffering a defeat apiece against their semis assignment effectively left Perillo and Bologaita duking it out for the bronze in their weight division that ultimately ended with the former coming out of the mats triumphantly.

Michael Borja also tasted defeat in his semis match up but quickly got back to his game as he was able to grab the bronze medal for his weight class. His brother, Edward Borja, on the other hand also failed to keep up the momentum as a dislocated shoulder effectively ended his day prematurely only to soon be followed by Oleta who suffered a shime-waza (stranglehold) in his second match of the day to also put him out of action.

The same could be said for DLSU Lady Judokas’ Valencia as the string of bad luck also caught up to her as she failed to follow up on her first victory as she fell on her semis and bronze medal match to fail to notch a medal for the women’s team.

Despite all the bad luck that seemed to be holding the team back, one Judoka seemed to have escaped unscathed as Reyes came out as the only bright star from DLSU as he successfully finished with his division’s gold medal in tow.

Something bright in defeat

While initially thought to be a troubling performance, DLSU Judo team Coach Sam Bernales shares that this was unavoidable due to numerous veteran and foreign judokas who also competed. He further shares that knowing that fact, he is already proud of the performance of his players but also stresses that improvement could and should be done in order to prepare them for the true prize which is the UAAP.

Coach Bernales’ thinking, however, is not the lone voice in the team as lone gold medallist Keith Reyes also thinks the same way as he states that despite his victory, he is more than aware that there is still quite a lot to improve on his game.

DLSU Judokas graced by the visit of Professor Toshiro Yamashita


The DLSU Green and Lady Judokas showed their gratitude to the former coach of the Judo National team, Professor Toshiro Yamashita, by giving and instructing the 3-day Judo Camp held in Enrique Razon Sports Complex last March 4-6, 2015.

Sensei Yamashita at 62 years old has already achieved various accolades adding to his credibility. Being a 7th dan in judo he is the current teacher of the Osaka police department for self-defense. He also coached the Philippine National team in the past. Since his arrival in 1997 he has made a big impact for the progression of Philippine Judo. Pleased by how his teachings have affected Judo in the Philippines, he still visits the country from time to time to guide young talents mostly from Universities because of the potential he sees in them.

The experience and teachings he shared with the team was truly a rare opportunity not given to just anyone. During the three-day camp, he instructed the students to perform the koshiki no kata, a series of 21 ancient techniques ideally done by armored warriors (samurais). It is also the kata that is required to be learned to be promoted to 8th dan. He also emphasized the basics of Judo which helped the students in appreciating and applying the essence of the art.

Because of sensei Yamashita’s visit two years ago when he taught the nage no kata, the Judokas of DLSU prepared to perform it for examination. 10 pairs were chosen to present it to be judged by sensei. Although the performances weren’t perfect it still impressed and more than satisfied sensei since the nage no kata is very demanding and precise when it comes to its movements. The respect and willingness to learn the DLSU Judokas showed enticed sensei to come back again another time.

In the end, the Judo camp was a success and proved to Sensei once again how the DLSU Judokas are appreciative of his teachings. “Ako very happy. Thank you so much. Next time again.” said Sensei with a thick Japanese accent. Though the language barrier was there, it did not hinder the DLSU Judokas and sensei from enjoying and appreciating the time and experience they shared.

Breaking stereotypes: Lady Judoka bags academic gold

SamGaerlan-SummaCumLaude“An athlete can never excel in academics.”

For most of us, this has already been a widely believed thought due to a variety of reasons; this stereotype however was famously challenged last year by swimming star Johann Aguilar of the DLSU Green Tanker who graduated with the distinction of being the latest athlete to graduate with a Latin honour, magna cum laude (with great honour) with a stunning CGPA of 3.62.

The challenge against this stereotype however has not ended with Aguilar’s farewell as another one of DLSU beloved athlete is poised to make history after successfully chasing for a far larger price, the extremely elusive academic distinction known to us as summa cum laude (Latin for with the highest honour) which requires at least a CGPA of 3.80.

Balanced commitment

In a noteworthy display of balanced commitment, the Lady Judokas’ very own lion-hearted Samantha Gaerlan has proven that her excellence does not stop in the Japanese art of Judo but goes far beyond the physical to also manifest in the world of academics and intellect.

Embracing an awe-inspiring final cumulative grade point of 3.897, the soon to be Early Childhood Education graduate is poised to grab hold of not only the distinction of the latest athlete to embody the virtues of a proper Lasallian student-athlete, but also to grab the distinction of being the first ID#111 athlete to graduate with the academic gold in tow if not the first during DLSU’s 172nd Commencement Exercise.

Asked about his reaction to the Lady Judoka’s situation, Green and Lady Judoka Head Coach Samson Bernales shares his amazement at the Judokas’ position, he explains that the Judoka in question has shown tremendous control of both sides of her student life as she achieved academic excellence all while never missing a single day of training except when deemed necessary by the occasional family events. A statement seconded by DLSU Lady Judokas Team Captain Marjorie Santiago who also shares her amazement at the judoka’s commitment in both sports and studies regardless of the difficulty in training.

Asked how she manages to balance her studies along with training, a lively Samantha Gaerlan shares that she makes it a point to make use of free time to study or at least to summarize her readings, an answer seconded by Green Judoka David Gordon.

She further shares that besides taking full advantage of free time, she also makes use of numerous reminders in her phone as well as her work desk to continuously remind her of quizzes, assignments, and projects which she makes a point to finish at least three days before the deadline for projects and the day before for ordinary assignments.

Time to help

Green Judoka Benj Bolongaita also shares that the judoka in question has also been very active in helping her teammates who may need her help. Bolongaita further expresses that he himself has been a recipient of help from the joyful and helpful judoka.

Ivan Oleta also shares that besides academic help, Samantha Gaerlan has gone beyond the call of duty as she is also a friend one can extremely depend on to help regardless of the nature of the problem. Teammates Precious Benablo, Angelica Recarro, and Chesa Carandang along with Green Judokas Vince David also shares that her attitude in regard to helping those who need her help is also one of the reasonswhy she is a fine role model for athletes besides her perseverance in maintaining a balance between her studies and training.

Role model for all

Asked to comment on her display of commitment, DLSU-OSD Academic Coordinator Grace Cura-Alhambra shares that the office is tremendously proud to have athletes like her. She further shares that athletes like Gaerlan are breaking new ground in proving that athletes can indeed excel in the field of academics.

DLSU-OSD Director Emmanuel Calanog also shares his joy at the news of an athlete graduating as summa cum laude as well stating that athletes like her can be role models that could inspire other athlete to take the leap to excel not only in their respective sports but also in their respective educational field. He, however, shares that athletes like Gaerlan and Aguilar could also influence ordinary students to take that extra leap to really reach their true potential, a statement Grace Alhambra also deeply believes in.

Asked about how she feels on possibly being the first athlete to graduate summa cum laude, a reminiscing Gaerlan shares that it would really be an honor and give her a sense of accomplishment to further justify her one term extension to compete in the UAAP, possibly for one last time, where she expressed sadness in only winning bronze.

(with reports from Green and Lady Judokas Asst. Coach Keith Ver)

Green and Lady Judokas bag medals in 2014 Zecotek-Jagsport Invitational Championship

DLSU Judokas

The DLSU Judokas during the General Trias Judo Invitational (Kim Leong/DLSU Sports)

The Green and White Judokas did not disappoint. The team was able to deliver good performances bringing back a handful of medals during the 2014 Zecotek-Jagsport Invitational which was held from November 21-22 in Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Singapore. It was the teams’ second time to join the tournament invitational, previously garnering medals from their first Jagsport stint in the prior year.

Former Green Judoka, now assistant coach for the De La Salle Judo Team, Keith Ver (-66kg) and Green Judoka, Antonio Gosalvez (-73kg) won double gold for the men’s division in both Individual and Team tournament respectively. Jefferson Sapi (-55kg) garnered 1st place for 18&under category.

A way to gauge and improve one’s judo skills is from competing in play-offs.  Joining a competition abroad, first-timer Gosalvez shares. “Masaya, kasi  first-time ko to join a competition abroad. Maganda yung experience to be able to play with other competitors of different nationalities.”

Lady Judoka, Kathleen Gilbuena (-52kg) won silver for the 18 & under category, while Mia Baguisi (-57kg) won bronze for the 21& under category in the women’s division. Alumnus of the Lady Judokas, Kat Valencia (-63kg) won gold in participation and contribution for taking part in the team tournament.

Along with the senior team, the junior judokas from De La Salle Zobel also participated in the said event. Junior Judoka team captain, Jeric Cabero (-73kg) won silver, while Co-captain Johanne Suarez (+81kg) won bronze, and Antonio Duenas (-60kg) grabbed the bronze medal all for the under&15 category.

The La Salle Judo Team has a rigorous training routine that aims to produce excellent judokas.  As part of their training, they expect to gain training experience and perfection in their sport from participating in Judo tournaments both local and abroad. Through the shared passion for Judo, the spirit of friendship and unity is strengthened through sportsmanship.


Falling Short: DLSU Judokas slip out of place


Entering the mats this year with its first ever championship title, the DLSU Lady Judokas was filled with optimism as they campaigned to defend last year’s victory. Similarly, their male counterparts, the DLSU Green Judokas, also moved with the same level of optimism with the goal of finally bagging their first ever judo championship and make a name for themselves. Sadly, however, it seems that powerful forces had other plans as not only did they leave our beloved judokas in tears, but also the heavens which cried with the same passion through a sudden downpour at the last day of the tournament, September 28.

First Day Trouble

September 27 saw the first throws launched during the UAAP Judo Tournament.

Started by Kathleen Gilbuena (U52), the DLSU Lady Judokas were quick to realize just how much their veterans will be terribly missed as her defeat was soon followed by the other rookies namely Mia Baguisi and Alyssa Reyes (U57), and, Estephanie Malaki (U48) who both put up terrific display of willpower, but ultimately lost in the end. They, however were not the only one’s having a hard time as veteran Freesia Heradez (U52) also failed to notch a single victory against a reenergized squad from both UST and the Ateneo Judo Association (AJA). Veteran and outgoing Lady Judoka Samantha Gaerlan (U48), however, served as the single ray of hope as she was the only to bounce back from her earlier defeat to allow her to take home a bronze as well as her first ever UAAP medal.

Starting off for the Green Judokas was rookie Ivan Oleta (U90) who ultimately fared better than his female counterparts as he dispatches his first assignment from the AJA. His achievement was quickly followed by co-captain Chico Cortes (U100) who also won over his first assignment. The run however would soon end as both Oleta and Cortes will suffer a defeat that will eventually result in the latter taking home the bronze while the former fails amidst a valiant effort to secure his division’s bronze.

Second Day Difficulty

Leading the second day charge was first time UAAP competitor Nico Gosalvez (U73) who quickly made his worth known by defeating his first assignment. His achievement was quickly followed up by eventual gold winner Mickey Regala (U73) who also quickly dispatches his opponent along with former Atenean now Lasallian Vince David (U81) who also dispatches his former compatriot Hermogenes Arayate from AJA. The success story however ends there as losses start to pile up after David’s first match up as the Borja Brothers (U66), Edward and Michael, Josh Oleta, brother of Ivan Oleta (U60), will soon fail in their first match and their bronze medal matches along with Gosalvez, who was defeated by former division champion Brian Llamas of UST in the semis, and David who both failed to advance in the semis. Rookie Joseph Jose (U60), who gave his opponents an unexpected challenge, would fail to notch a victory along with Lloyd Abucayan (U81).

The Lady Judokas faced a similar tale of defeats amidst exemplary performance as its rookies for day 2 ends up with similar fates as their day 1 brethren. Regardless of their failure, bronze medalist Lady Judoka Gaerlan comments that the actions of Angelica Recarro (U63), Charla Cabrera (U70), Chesa Carandang (U70), Arian Galfo (U78), Precious Benablo (U78), and all the other rookies were more than enough to prove that they have the drive to play and only need more time training as she cites that most of them only started two months ago. Veteran Marjorie Santiago (U63), however, aslo seemed to have trouble as she ultimately losses her chance to compete in the gold medal match after valiantly losing against International BJJ Champion Annie Ramirez of UST, she eventually takes home the bronze while fellow veteran Justine Pongase (U78) successfully pulls off a throw that won her the gold at the end of the day.

Learning Experience

Asked about his insights on the this year’s tournament, a disappointed, but optimistic coach Keith shares that the biggest hindrance for them this year was its loss of majority of its senior members especially considering that most of the other team fielded mostly seniors. Regarding the newcomers, their challenges lie not in strength or technique, but rather lies with the rookies’ attitude as he cites their tendency to flinch after realizing that they are competing against some of the biggest name in UAAP judo, Coach Ver shares that the rookies tend to lose their composure and therefore committing errors.

While clearly failing their goal, both DLSU the Green and Lady Judokas were still able walk off with a respectable medal haul. Two bronze and gold medals for the Lady Judokas while the men’s walk off with one less bronze.

Coach Ver sheds light that the other teams better watch out as not only does he promise a better team, but he also reveals that Season 78 will signal the first playing years of its judokas who are under residency.

Judokas’ title hunt pinned down, conclude Day One with two bronzes


A chain of victories had been blessed and earned by the DLSU Judokas for the previous years with a standing of champion and second runner up respectively for the Lady Judokas and the Green Judokas. The ambiance of calibrated expectations from the Lasallian crowd was much evident and at its peak during the matches.

Bronze chances were flying all over the Judokas as Samantha Gaerlan of the Lady Judokas, Chico Cortes and Ivan Oleta of the Green Judokas strangled for the verdict of winning bronze medals.

The DLSU Judokas ended the day’s tournament with frowned faces and grateful thoughts as both teams won a bronze medal for the 48-kg below and 100-kg below for the Lady Judokas and Green Judokas.

As Gaerlan stated, she was disappointed upon winning a bronze since they were aiming for gold this year, but bronze is still a medal and she is grateful. She also mentioned that she was very much satisfied with the performance of the team, considering that there were four rookies who played in the matches earlier; the only thing they needed was more practice.

The Green Judokas started off the first round with screams and bruises of triumph while the Animo squad together with the Lasallian crowd cheered their hearts out to encourage the Lady Judokas who did not lead in the matches with a good start.

Ironically in the succeeding round, the Lady Judokas had their venture to achieve a medal with Samantha Gaerlan winning matches while the Green Judokas also answered with their own medal at the hands of Chico Cortes.

The tournament shall be continued tomorrow as the team captains of both teams shall try to win the hearts of the sport by claiming the gold.

Detour paves way for Lady Judoka to shine


Transferring from one sport to another is never an easy thing; this thought however did not hinder a certain DLSU rookie. Coming from the world of lawn tennis, table tennis, and volleyball, which most people would already find to be worlds apart, Estephanie Malaki has proven that one can fall in love in other sports no matter how radical of a change it may be as she is currently set to make her UAAP debut not competing to swing balls across the other side of nets, but to smash bodies onto a mat as she is set to compete in this year’s UAAP Judo tournament on September 27.

Trying Something New

Growing up loving lawn tennis at a young age due to her mother’s love for the sport, Estephanie or Stef as she is called by her friends, shares that the shift to the other sports were somewhat unplanned as she cites her experience as simply being picked to compete in volleyball and table tennis due to her athletic nature and subsequently falling for it either through teammates such as the case in volleyball and simply because of the enjoyment in the sport such as the case in table tennis.

She reveals that the same could be said for her current love, judo, as she was also not expecting to invest much time in it as she was only introduced to it as her sport for FTSPORT and therefore viewed as a sport she had no interest with. She mentions, however, that similar to the events that led her to falling for volleyball and table tennis, she was told that she had potential and was invited to train with the team which started to give rise to a growing interest on the Japanese martial art as well as the journey to falling in love with the sport.

She expounded that her interest on the sport has grown to such a point that she herself was amazed at how much time she invested learning the sport of judo. She added, “minsan nanood ako ng videos ng judo to the point na my mom would ask me to stop na since late na”.

Advantageous Outcome

While acknowledging that different sports require different training to suite their differing skill set, Coach Keith Ver of the DLSU Judokas shares that it provides certain advantages especially mentally. Citing the importance of mental conditioning, he said that Estephanie’s experience in both lawn tennis and table tennis has given her the training on how to think when competing alone while her experience in volleyball provides a perfect counterbalance as it instills the value of working as a team.

Estephanie shares the same sentiments as her coach does as she also shares that one of the largest advantage of practicing more than one sport is the mental preparation that comes along with each sport. She states that competing in more than one sport has really made her see the importance of listening to words of the coach which is a value she still carries up to this day.

While a completely different sport, Estephanie tells us that she has no regret in entering the sport of judo not only because she has grown to love it, but also because she has grown to love the team which she noted is one of the largest reason she practices it.

Judokas hope to sustain winning form into UAAP


Making history with their first ever championship finish last year, the DLSU Lady Judokas are once again gearing up to continue their run. This season, they are eyeing for their second championship finish in this year’s UAAP Judo tournament. Meanwhile, the Green Judokas have clearly made it felt that the dream of making their own history has not ended. In Season 77, they too have their eyes on the championship to end the title drought.

Capitalizing on their experiences in numerous tournaments like the UST Tigers Cup, Philippine National Games, and the Mayor Ony Ferrer Judo Championship, the team believes that they have what it takes to bag the much-coveted twin championship.
Ready for the Defense

Going into the UAAP tournaments with only four veteran judokas namely Team Captain Marjorie Santiago, Co-captain Freesia Herandez, Justine Pongase and Samantha Gaerlan, the Lady Judokas still believe they have what it takes to defend their hard fought championship. Capitalizing on the strength of their rookies who show great potential and optimism, newly minted assistant coach Keith Ver shares “Coach Sam and I have studied the peak patterns of the players, and we found that last year, some players prematurely peaked. This year, we believe that we have timed the training better, so all players will reach their peak on game day.”

With regard to the loss of numerous seniors, Coach Ver shares that similar to the belief of the veteran judokas, he feels the rookies are more than ready to compete in the UAAP. He cited that they were successfully able to experience what the UAAP Judo tournament might bring through their participation in the Mayor Ony Ferrer Judo Championships. Their training which only bettered their techniques after the said event also fuels the championship defense.

Setting the Stage

Going into the UAAP tournament with much eagerness, the Green Judokas are also pumping up their new bloods as the tournament grows closer with the continuous hope of finally grasping the elusive championship title. Edward Borja, a first time player in the UAAP, said that the current training was technique-intensive, which meant that the timing of the throws was heavily worked on. Adrian Perillo, agreed with the statement, since timing, as well as good forms are very significant in a match.
Coach Ver who himself was a Green Judoka who last competed in UAAP Season 75 shares that he has used his experience in combating the possible opponents of the Green Judokas to train them harder. Focusing on techniques that he, along with former judokas were using, he shares the sentiment of former assistant coach Annie Pedrosa who feels that the strength of the team along with their drive to win will give the team to finally bag the championship and finally make history.

Facing the Opponents

Coach Ver, who expressed that he himself has big shoes to fill as he is replacing former coach Pedrosa who once served as the head coach of the Philippine National Team, says he does not underestimate any of the team after their efforts. He furthered, “Hindi natin pwede tanggalin yung champions last year, Ateneo, for the men’s as well as the UST men’s team. And for the women’s naman, based on the nationals, and other tournaments, malakas din ‘yung UE and as well as UST and Ateneo.”
Assessing the competition, Coach Keith said, “we can actually be both champions.” This stems from the rigorous and disciplined training the team has gone through.
Men’s team co-captain, Chico Cortes, says, “Determination, hard work and teamwork [will propel the team to greatness.]” Women’s team captain, Marj Santiago, meanwhile, says that “positivism and the willingness to win” are points to consider in the upcoming games.

Will the Lady Judokas successfully defend their crown? Will the Green Judokas finally make history? Be sure to watch and support the DLSU Judo Team as they will once again take to the mats in the name of the university at the Blue Eagle Gym on September 27 and 28.