After the last day’s thrill and drama, University of Santo Tomas still found itself the champion of the UAAP Women’s Taekwondo Kyorugi championships.
Angel Mae Lorbes proved that determination reaps success by powering the Female Tiger Jins past rival National University, 4-3, in the virtual championship battle, securing a back-to-back league title at the close of the Season 86 competitions on Wednesday night at the Marikina Sports Center.
This marks the school’s 13th crown overall and the sixth for the season after achieving the golden double in beach volleyball and taekwondo poomsae in the past two days.
Tied at three matches apiece, Lorbes took charge of the first round in the final match, the middle/heavyweight match (over-67 kg), propelling UST to the cusp of the title.
However, the rookie Female Tiger Jin and Lady Bulldog Aila Calip couldn’t be separated in the following round.
Consequently, the judges unanimously declared Lorbes the winner of the second round and, eventually, the match. This victory also sealed the overall triumph for the Female Tiger Jins.
Coach Gershon Bautista commented on what fueled the Female Tiger Jins in that ‘championship’ match, saying: “It’s the mindset on and off the court.”
With the mental side taken care of with the help of team psychologist Prof. Michael Lopez, it is what propelled eventual MVP Laizel Abucay to set off the thrilling finish as the squad faced a 0-3 deficit against the Lady Bulldogs.
The UST High School product dominated the pivotal featherweight (under-57 kg) match in just two rounds, blanking NU’s Sharifa Dela Cruz in both, 4-0 and 5-0.
Realis Tabiando and last year’s top rookie Reign Ragutana added two more titles to the cause of the Female Tiger Jins, winning the lightweight (under-62 kg) and the welterweight (under-67 kg) categories.
The Lady Bulldogs, who finished second with a 4-1 win-loss card, were led by national athlete and bantamweight (under-53 kg) gold medalist Veronica Garces and backed by the flyweight (under-49 kg) title from Rajany Santos.
De La Salle University denied the University of the Philippines’ challenge the previous day, 5-2, securing a third-place finish with a 3-2 win-loss slate.
Jade Papa and Aliyah Eusalan bagged the gold medals in the finweight (under-46 kg) and the middle/heavyweight (over-67 kg), respectively, to lead the Lady Green Jins, as first-year student-athlete and bantamweight silver medalist Angeline Alcantara was named the Rookie of the Year.