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Obiena, PATAFA settle differences: prized pole vaulter set to compete in SEA Games and Worlds

After the fifth session of mediations between Obiena and PATAFA chief Philip Juico, the two camps have exchanged apologies and have both agreed to ‘start anew and move on.’

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Photo courtesy of Ivan Romano/Panay News

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) announced that the camp of Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the federation of Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA)  have reached an agreement.

As the only governing body recognized by the World Athletics, the PATAFA will now endorse Obiena for the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

“It is with much joy that we (the PSC) announce that both parties have agreed to a settlement and the proceedings ended successfully,” the PSC said in a statement released Wednesday.

After the fifth session of mediations between Obiena and PATAFA chief Philip Juico, the two camps have exchanged apologies and have both agreed to ‘start anew and move on.’

“PSC Chairman William Ramirez who served as the sole mediator in the proceedings expressed his happiness that the first-ever sport mediation conducted by the PSC successfully assisted both parties to arrive at a settlement,” said the PSC.

The row between the world no. 5 pole vaulter and the federation stemmed from an issue regarding the misuse of funds to pay Obiena’s coach, Vitaly Petrov.

The rift between the two camps escalated, costing Obiena’s participation in the World Indoor Championships last March 18-20 in Belgrade, Serbia.

“The bottom line is, our nation lost a chance for glory for no legitimate reason. I hope and pray this never happens again. Country before all else,” Obiena said in a Facebook post on March 22, Tuesday.

PSC chairman Ramirez mentioned that the humility transpired between the two parties led to a successful settlement of the rift.

Asia’s top ranked pole vaulter will now prepare for the long-awaited SEA Games and other competitions now that the PATAFA has agreed to endorse Obiena once again. 

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Laure, Tapia power Golden Tigresses to extinguish Adamson hot streak

The Espana-based squad then responded with a dominant second set with a 25-19 scoreline with contributions from Regina Mangulabnan’s double-ace, Imee Hernandez, and capitalizing on the Falcons’ errors.

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Photo courtesy of the UAAP Season 84 Media Team

The UST Golden Tigresses held off a gutsy Adamson Lady Falcons squad to win its second five-setter match, 12-25, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 15-9, in the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Tuesday afternoon, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Alike the previous sets, the decider set was sparked with a UST run led by Ypril Tapia’s back-to-back aces and an Eya Laure block to lead early in the 5th set, 7-2. However, the Lady Falcons went on a 6-2 run of their own to keep the game in the balance, 9-8.

Coach Kung Fu Reyes then called a much-needed timeout that ignited yet another Tigresses 6-1 run sealed by a Laure kill.

The Golden Tigresses started off on the wrong foot as they were down by as much as 11 points after an 8-1 Falcons run capped off by three consecutive errors for UST, 12-25. 

The Espana-based squad then responded with a dominant second set with a 25-19 scoreline with contributions from Regina Mangulabnan’s double-ace, Imee Hernandez, and capitalizing on the Falcons’ errors. 

This outing was no cakewalk for the Tigresses as the women in blue kept the match in check with ignitions of runs and rallies of their own, especially in the fourth set when they needed it most, to force a decider set, 18-25.

Eya Laure and Ypril Tapia showed way for the Tigresses as the newly-formed dynamic duo of UST posted 23 and 11 points respectively. 

Adamson, on the other hand, was powered by three double-digit contributions from Trisha Genesis with 15 markers, while Rizza Cruz and Arylle Tagsip both chipped in 10 points apiece.

The Golden Tigresses (4-2) now look to end their first-round campaign on a high note as they try their hand at halting the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ (3-3) three-game winning streak on Thursday, 4 PM, at the same venue.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Obiena resets SEA Games record, defends pole vault title

Obiena made quick work of the competition as he flawlessly vaulted through 5.40m and 5.46m in one attempt.

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Screengrab from F Thể Thao/YouTube

Thomasian pole vault star EJ Obiena stays golden as he sets a new Southeast Asian (SEA) Games record of 5.46m at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, late Saturday afternoon.

Unlike his other opponents who began at lower heights of 4.80m and 5.00m, Obiena made quick work of the competition as he flawlessly vaulted through 5.40m and 5.46m in one attempt.

His leap of 5.46m is a new SEA Games pole vault record after he previously set the record at the 2019 SEA Games where he cleared 5.45m.

After being able to set a new tournament record, Obiena was eager to break his own Asian record of 5.93m, but failed to do so in three attempts.

Obiena notched his 2nd SEA Games gold medal and the nation’s 11th gold in the tournament as of writing. 

The Tondo native almost missed this year’s rendition of the tournament due to the rift he had with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. The rift was resolved on March 30, where both parties came to a settlement with the mediation of the Philippine Sports Commission.

The olympian now shifts his focus to the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, from July 15 to July 24.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Golden Tigresses bow down against unbeaten NU

Both teams aimed to work off their momentum as UST completed a come-from-behind win against the DLSU Lady Spikers in a rigorous five-setter match while NU swept the Lady Warriors in straight sets to remain unbeaten.

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Corinne Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Golden Tigresses ran out of fire from their previous match against DLSU as they fell to the NU Lady Bulldogs in four sets, 21-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-25, in the first round of the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, May 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. 

Both teams aimed to work off their momentum as UST completed a come-from-behind win against the DLSU Lady Spikers in a rigorous five-setter match while NU swept the Lady Warriors in straight sets to remain unbeaten.

And unbeaten the women from Jhocson remained.

Team captain Eya Laure led UST’s efforts, being the lone Golden Tigress to score double digits with 18 points while the Lady Bulldogs had five players who racked up double-digit scoring outputs. 

The match started with a struggling UST as they were behind by 10 points, but rallied late to cut the deficit to four. Overpowered by attacks and service aces from the Lady Bulldogs, UST lost the opening set, 21-25.

The Golden Tigresses warmed up as the second set started heating up with an early 5-0 run, but the Lady Bulldogs didn’t let up as they tied the frame at 15-all. A crucial miscommunication error from UST led them to the same fate as the opening affair at 21-25.

UST continued to struggle against NU’s mighty blocks and services. The Tigresses failed to solidify their attacks and receives but gained from NU’s unforced errors.

UST was down but not out as the third set was at a deadlock, 16-16. The set ended at 25-21 again but, this time, UST claimed victory as NU tallied too many errors with 16 in total.

In what became the final set, the Lady Bulldogs recovered by minimizing their errors with UST trailing 9-16. UST was unable to fight back and lost the game at 15-25.

UST was unable to distribute the sets between their attackers while making it easy for NU to read them well as they carried out strong defense, which became a winning factor for them.

The two teams will meet again in the second round, and possibly in the Final Four, should they maintain their current team standings.

With two games left in the first round, the Golden Tigresses will strive to bounce back as they fall to a 3-2 standing. They face the Adamson Lady Falcons next on Tuesday, 4 PM, at the same venue.

Joie Frances Timbas
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