UAAP Season 79 Team Preview: Green and Lady Jins

Published on October 21st, 2016 | by Resch Untalan

GC taek

With a new mantra and new techniques in their repertoire, the DLSU Green Jins and Lady Jins are looking to charge for the top honors in the UAAP Taekwondo tournament.

The Olympic Coach

Coach Roberto Cruz is still at the helm and assisting him is former Philippine Taekwondo team standout Japoy Lizardo. Cruz is fresh from a coaching stint in Rio 2016 after guiding Olympian Kristie Alora to the biggest stage in sports and has brought new methods of training and tricks with him from the experience for the green and white squad to utilize this season.

“Nadagdagan ang strength and conditioning namin, at mas practical, more on technique. Kumbaga na-divide yung training namin kaya mas nakakapag-focus kami sa ibang aspects,” said the seasoned Taekwondo coach about their new style of training.

Cruz did not go into details to save their secrets, but he shared his experience in the Olympics, “Siyempre it’s the Olympics, very high ang level of competition.” He then adds, “Their techniques are updated, marami kaming pinag-aralan doon at binigay naman namin iyon sa La Salle.”

Green Jins

After finishing third behind UST and UE last UAAP Season, the Green Jins are back for vengeance as they are expecting nothing but gold this season. Team captain Pogz Jasmines is hoping for a fitting finish to his UAAP career along with Karl Delos Santos.

Helping them are rookies Keith Uy and Carlo Dionisio, the latter already a member of the Junior National Team. Coach Cruz and Jasmines expect these rookies to step up as they wouldn’t be taken out of the training pool if they didn’t believe that they could do well.

Aside from new tricks from their coaches, part of their preparation is competing in the Philippine Taekwondo League (PTL) where they are currently defending a possible five-peat after finishing first in the last four years.

When asked about what the mantra of the Men’s team for this season, Jasmines answered, “If the men’s basketball team has ‘mayhem’, we are ‘united’ because we are united in one goal, which is to bring home the bacon to Taft Avenue.”

Lady Jins

Like their male counterparts, the Lady Jins are expecting to do better than last year’s third place finish, hopefully winning the gold medals this year. Similar to Jasmines, graduating Lady Jin team captain Paola Amon would like to finish her UAAP career by winning a championship for La Salle along with other graduating players Kristina Lopez and Farah Regis. The Lady Jins will not be fielding any rookies this year but they are still confident that they can win the championship without any young blood.

As of writing time, the Lady Jins are holding a 2-1 record in the PTL with one loss from Ateneo, as part of their preparation for the UAAP Season. It is still unsure if they will get through the second round, as there is a tie between DLSU and NU.

Amon mentioned that training for both teams has now become more technical because they compare their techniques from last year and tweak those techniques to match their opponents.

The Lady Jin captain echoed the mantra of men’s team saying, “We are united, and stronger na rin, kasi sabi nga ni coach, buo pa rin ang team from last year,” Amon ended.

Truly, a more united and driven team, with loads of Olympic knowledge and techniques – will this be the perfect formula to finally get back the crown? Find out as Day 1 of UAAP Season 79 Taekwondo tournament begins tomorrow, October 22 at the Blue Eagle Gym.

Resch Untalan

I’m either eating ramen, sending postcards, or watching sports

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