FOR THE fifth-straight year, the UST Male Fencers notched second place while the Female Fencers dropped to fifth place at the end of the UAAP Season 80 fencing tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig Sunday.
The Male Fencers took home the silver with a 2-3-2 gold-silver-bronze medal tally while the Female Fencers are this year’s cellar-dwellers with four bronze medals, their worst showing since Season 73.
UST men’s foil team of captain Noelito Jose, Rodolfo Duterte, Elijah Asinas and Gian Carlo Aribe absorbed a 21-45 beating from UE’s Christian Jhester and John Christian Concepcion, Marlow Osayan and Season 80 MVP Samuel Tranquilan in the finals for silver.
“I hope we maintain the same performance [in the men’s division] for next season because we will lose around 90 percent of our core players in the men’s fencing team,” UST head coach Arman Bernal told the Varsitarian.
In women’s action, the epee team of UST captain Maricar Dizon, Marielle Peralta, Mae Andrea and Vanessa Bernal bowed out to UE’s Mickyle Bustos, Janina Escalambre, Liezel Lopez and Wilhelmina Lozada in a close semifinals affair, 41-44.
The Lady Fencers were only two points behind UE with 10 seconds remaining, but UE’s Bustos sneaked in a parry and riposte hit on Peralta’s chest with 1.85 ticks left as the Lady Fencers settled for bronze.
The sabre team of Cherie Manago, Fhaym Sarrondo, Elizabeth Lim and Jezzle Camahalan fell to UE’s Lozada, Drew Celso, Allaine Cortey and Hazelline Alcaide, 36-45, for another bronze medal.
“Our women’s team lacked momentum today; they were on the verge of making a finals appearance but laxed in the final minutes of their respective games,” Bernal said.
UE’s mens’ team bagged the championship title for the sixth-straight year while its female squad had now won 11-straight titles.
In juniors’ play, UST’s junior fencing teams landed second place overall next to UE.
UST will miss the services of Jose, Aribe, Matthew Domantay, Vonn Pascua, Michael Duterte and women’s captain Dizon after exhausting their respective playing years.