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UST’s overall UAAP championship streak snapped

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     THE University of Santo Tomas’ general UAAP championship streak was put to an end by the De La Salle University, who was declared as the UAAP season 75 overall champions last March 23 at the Skydome in SM North Edsa.

     Since 1999, UST had dominated the UAAP overall race that resulted to 14 consecutive championship years before DLSU managed to dethrone the reigning champs to snatch their first overall championship title.

     Throughout UAAP history, UST has registered 39 overall championship crowns in the senior division and 15 in the juniors, totaling to 54 general championship titles.

     UST slid to a deficit of 16 points in the overall race, falling short to take the top seed from DLSU with 293 points. DLSU’s tenacity and UST’s “subpar performances” in the second semester became the deciding factors in achieving the overall crown according to the The Varsitarian.

     Compared to the performances in the previous season, UST garnered eight gold medals, seven silvers, and three bronze, which gave them a total score of 298 points in the final tally of scores in the overall race; however, some events went down the ranks come season 75, which limited UST to only six gold medals, six silvers, and four bronze. These totaled to 277 points in the final count.

     Although the Tiger Paddlers, Tiger Jins, the Tiger and Tigress Judokas, and women’s beach volleyball team were able to defend their crown, it wasn’t enough to bring home the overall trophy.

     “The Thomasian athletes didn’t lack much but polishing. We failed to get the overall title this year due to the shortage of polishing, some events went below their rankings. So we will have to work on that again next season,” IPEA secretary Asst. Prof. Gilda Ma. Paz Kamus said.

     “It is wrong to say that the dynasty of Thomasian athletes is in decline, because I see that every athlete does his best in his sport with passion and excellence,” she added.

     Despite the loss in the overall race, UST was given several individual athletic awards such as Athlete of the Year Award given to Christian Al dela Cruz in the seniors division and Juan Miguel Ramos in the juniors.

     Considering the loss in the overall race, season 75 still ended greatly for UST securing the overall trophy in the juniors division who has taken its seventh straight year in the UAAP throne.

     “The athletes have done their best, and that is what counts,” Kamus said.

Article and photo by Josiah Darren G. Saynes

 

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Table Tennis

Tiger Paddlers stun España as UST takes home double crown

The Tiger Paddlers tightened their grip to their 28th crown as they again defeated their second time contender, the National University Bulldogs, for a back-to-back championship title in this UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament.

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Photo by Troy Jacob Quinan/TomasinoWeb

The UST Tiger and Lady Paddlers’ aim for consistency in the UAAP season did not let the whole Thomasian community down as they unceasingly strived for the championship title this season.

The Tiger Paddlers tightened their grip to their 28th crown as they again defeated their second time contender, the National University Bulldogs, for a back-to-back championship title in this UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament.

With its win, the defending champs remained unbeaten as the men’s team showed dominance since the elimination round with a complete sweep.

Graduating senior Reymark Mabuang secured the win for the Tigers amidst the rival, NU Paddlers who had almost trailed behind them until the last set of the game.

Despite the fact that this is his last year in playing, as expected for Mabuang’s outstanding skills throughout his game for the season, he was claimed as this season’s Most Valuable Player.

A pair of rookies, Mcleen Dizon and Prince Garcia, also made its way for the gold as both had led the doubles division.

However, the yellow-blooded Thomasians continued its lead in the UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament as the women’s team remained persistent after upsetting the Ateneo Lady Eagles, marking their 13th championship title.

UST upset the Ateneo Lady Paddlers from almost keeping pace with the Tigresses as Lady Paddler Danica Alburo finished the fifth set with 14-12 for the singles match.

“Bilog ang bola, lahat pwedeng mangyari. Kahit ikaw ang pinakamagaling, pwede ka pa ring matalo,” Alburo shared about what inspired her throughout the season in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Coming from a continuous heartbreak for 14 years without a title, the UST women’s team still made it to the championship platform amidst the other team’s nerve-wracking lineup for the season.

Although mournful as she ends her last staying years for the team, the graduating senior looked back to the times where she was still part of the table tennis’ Team B and now as a member of the UAAP final lineup.

“I’m very thankful na binigyan ako ni Lord ng magandang exit kasi nadefend namin yung champion. Ang bilis lang din ng 5 years. Parang natatandaan ko pa yung rookie year ko. Kung mababalik ko lang, pwede pa bang humingi ng playing years kasi ang sarap talaga maglaro for UST,” Alburo added as she expels her emotions.

Albeit the pressure in defending the 13th crown for España, the UST women’s team retrieved the finals round with an unnerving game against the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Relieved in earning the crown, Alburo still keeps her head down and remained her feet on the ground after taking the win for her alma mater.

“It is the attitude that will maintain us there. Dapat hindi ka lagi complacent sa mga ginagawa mo. Every galaw ay dapat tactful ka, decisive. And kung magkamali ka man, dapat panindigan pa rin,” one of the eldest member of the team, Alburo, also mentioned.

Amidst knowing that there were seniors in the team, sophomore team captain Gabisay held the responsibility with the members’ cooperation and teamwork to maintain the championship title.

“Nung summer, wala pong umuwi sa’min. Hanggang sa nag-UAAP, tuloy-tuloy yung training namin. Tapos pumunta kami sa ibang bansa para maki-tune up nung sa incentive tour namin. Tapos naki-tune up nalang kami para maranasan namin yung ibang bola kung gaano pa kakulang at yung preparations na gagawin namin pagbalik dito para sa UAAP. So, malaking bagay po yun,” sophomore team captain Gabisay unfolded the story on how the whole team prepared before the start of the season.

Gabisay also took home Most Valuable Player honors in this year’s tournament.

“Pinaghirapan din po ‘yun ng buong team na mag-champion kami. At alam po namin na deserve namin ‘yun na makuha talaga. At bonus nalang po yung pagiging MVP,” the second year star player Gabisay added.

As moving to the next part of her life, Danica Alburo would like to tell every Thomasians how she balanced both academics and sports as she compared life to table tennis saying, “Parang naa-apply din siya sa table tennis, ang layo na ng score mo; 8 siya, 2 ka. Hindi pa to tapos. Kaya pa to. Hangga’t walang 11, hindi kami susuko. Hindi ako susuko.”

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Basketball

Defending champs Lady Bulldogs too much for Growling Tigresses

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Photo by Ann Corrine Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigresses were swept by the defending champions the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of UAAP women’s basketball tournament, 66-54, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Tigresses hoped to live another day as they battled against the defending champions but failed as the Lady Bulldogs started the game strong and never looked back. 

UST was able to inch as close as 10 points in the payoff period before the Lady Bulldogs replied with an 18-4 run that immediately brought the lead out of reach in the final minutes.

Reynalyn Ferrer and MVP Grace Irebu were the key players for UST during the game as they had 16 and 11 points respectively.

On the other hand, NU continued its six-peat with three of their players scoring double digits in Monique del Carmen and Kaye Pingol who had 15 points apiece and Rhema Itesi with 12.

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Sports

UST’s finals run is a testament to Aldin Ayo’s greatness

For UST Growling Tigers Head Coach Aldin Ayo, their finals trip is a reminder of how UST’s program has grown in the two years under his care.

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Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigers may have been victims of Ateneo’s run to perfection after being swept in the UAAP season 82 men’s basketball finals on Wednesday, but it is hard to deny how far the program has gone within the first two years under current head coach Aldin Ayo. 

From a respectable 5-9 record in season 81, the dark horse Tigers made an unexpected leap this season which saw them go 8-6 in eliminations which was good enough for fourth seed. 

In the stepladder semis, they survived an FEU program that had one of the best defenses in the league, then proceeded to weather a twice to beat advantage from the UP Fighting Maroons that ultimately resulted in Renzo Subido immortalizing himself with a triple that sent the Tigers back to the Finals. 

Come the Finals, UST was ultimately swept by the near impenetrable Ateneo Blue Eagles, but not before they posted a scare to deny the defending champs’ attempt at perfection in Game 2. 

For Aldin Ayo however, a loss will be a loss, but this finals trip is a reminder of how UST’s program has grown under his care.

“I could say yes. Kasi syempre you always want to improve eh.” Ayo answered when asked if the program has indeed grown within his first two years in España,” during his press interview after the UST-Ateneo finals Game 2 Wednesday, Nov. 20.

“Last year we ended up sixth, this year, we made it to the Finals. Our mindset is even if we made it to the finals this season, ang dami pa namin kulang, ang dami pa namin dapat trabahuhin, and I will make sure na kung ano yung mga experiences namin sa finals, matuto kami and trabahuhin namin kung anong kulang sa amin.” he added. 

Prior to his current stint in UST, Ayo steered the Letran Knights to their first title in a decade back in 2015, and eventually snapped a two-year title drought for the De LaSalle Green Archers just a year later. 

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