Ready for War: DLSU Judokas sweep General Trias Judo Invitational
Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by Kim Leong
Returning to battle one last time before the war known as UAAP kicks off later this month, the DLSU judo teams added another chapter to their success story as they swept the 2nd Mayor Ony Ferrer Judo Championships held last August 23, 2014 at the General Trias Cultural and Convention Center.
Introducing several rookies, the Judokas sent a clear message to three other UAAP schools in attendance, namely FEU, UST and UP that they are more than ready for the UAAP Judo Competition as they finished the tournament to a good tune.
Suiting up for the Defense
Passion and determination once again played a center role as the Lady Judokas showed their unyielding mettle. This however was not the only thing that was noticeable as the DLSU Lady Judokas showed clear improvements as compared to their run in the Philippine National Games. Introducing new additions to the team’s roster as well as showcasing the talent and heart of the older rookies, the DLSU Lady Judokas showed that the road may not be as rough as initially thought as the energized team came out with a larger medal haul.
Putting the thought of what critics say is an almost impossible title defense, the Lady Judokas surged forward their competition to prove their detractors wrong as they came home with 7 medals, the same number of competitors fielded by DLSU, as compared to their Philippine National Games run which ended with 4 medals. Leading the medal hauling pack was none other than the Lady Judoka veterans Justine Pongase who stood as the proud victor of the +78kg weight division after defeating Lady Judoka rookie Precious Penablo who settled for silver and Samantha Gaerlan who stood victorious in the -45kg weight division. Joining their golden finish were rookies Mia Baguisi and Estephanie Malaki who competed in the -57kg and the -48kg weight division respectively, the latter edged out fellow Lady Judoka rookie Kathleen Gilbuena who settled for silver. Joining their medal haul was rookie Charla Cabrera who succeeded in taking home the bronze for the -70kg division.
Asked about how it felt winning gold in her first tournament, rookie Malaki shares that she never expected to win a medal at all. She further stressed the importance of her coaches (Coach Sam Bernales and Asst. Coach Keith Ver) as she also shares, “I just followed my coaches and used the techniques I learned from my PE class”
Readying for the Offensive
Continually proving their strength, the DLSU Green Judokas, similar to the Lady Judokas, also blasted through their opponents to sweep the tournament.
Leading the Green Judokas was none other than co-captain Chico Cortes who stood triumphantly in the -100kg weight division along with Keith Reyes (+100kg), Kyle Nacino (-73kg), Lloyd Abucayan (-81kg) and Ivan Oleta (-90kg) who edged out fellow Green Judoka Chino Dela Rosa who settled for silver. Supporting their medal haul was Adrian Perillo who took home silver along with Gerard Jose and Josh Oleta who both took home a bronze from the -60kg weight division.
Room for Improvement
While both the DLSU Green and Lady Judokas seems more than ready to take the mats this September, Green Judoka David Gordon tells us that “Although we produced a lot of medals from this tournament I still think we have to polish a few things before we hit the grand stage of the UAAP.”
His sentiment was echoed by Lady Judoka Gaerlan who told that although the rookies showed heart and talents that will allow them to put up a good fight there is still room for improvement for both the seniors and rookies.
The UAAP Season 77 Judo tournament will be a two-day event held on the 27th and 28th of September.