DEFENDING champion UST Judokas collected12 medals in the UAAP Season 80 judo tournament opener at the De La Salle Zobel gym in Alabang Saturday.
The Male Judokas placed first with 18 points, including a 2-1-1 gold-silver-bronze medal haul. The Lady Judokas were dominant anew with 26 points (2-3-3).
Ateneo de Manila University came in second with 12 points in the men’s division, while the University of the East capped off day one at second place with 17 points in the women’s division.
UST’s Dither Tablan reigned anew in the +100 kg category after slamming Ateneo’s Cadiente with 0:46 seconds left in the final round to bag gold.
Co-captain Renzo Cazenas (-90 kg) nabbed his first UAAP gold medal after scoring an ippon against De La Salle University’s Ivan Oleta a minute through the gold-medal match.
UST’s Luis San Diego (-81 kg) gave UST its sole silver after Ateneo’s Tuazon squeaked a yuko (one point) early through the final round while Kim George fell to UE’s Luis Benitez to give the Male Judokas their only bronze.
In women’s play, UST’s Almira Ruiz (-57 kg) and reigning UAAP MVP Khrizzie Pabulayan (-48 kg) led the charge with one gold medal apiece after topping fellow Thomasians Devrah Devaras and Kimberly Pantoja, respectively.
After dominating their wildcard rounds, UST’s Rhodesa Mae Bayas and former captain Tracy Honorio tied for bronze in the -52 kg category.
“Nakuha naman namin yung goal namin, na dalawang golds pero ang masaklap naman doon ay yung dalawang remaining gold ay nakuha ng UE…medyo bantay pa kami,” Lady Judokas head coach Gerard Arce told the Varsitarian
In the juniors’ division, UST’s girls’ team lead with 21 points (2-1-4) over UE and Far Eastern University, while the boys’ team placed third, topped by Ateneo and La Salle.
UST will try to secure their crowns tomorrow at the same venue.