Judokas hope to sustain winning form into UAAP
Published on September 26th, 2014 | by Victoria Chang
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.