HAVING achieved success in different national and international competitions, the UST Poomsae Jins have garnered significant exposure leading up to the UAAP Season 86 poomsae tournament on Nov. 27.

UST head coach Rani Ortega said the team is committed to participating in every poomsae competition to provide experience for the players, with the ultimate goal of reclaiming the title they held for just seven months.

“Mula noong start ng year, we have been competing in national tournaments ng PTA (Philippine Taekwondo Association) leading to the UAAP,” Ortega told the Varsitarian. “Lahat ng national tournaments na meron dito, sinasalihan talaga namin.”

“When we join tournaments, mas marami kaming training kasi nga may pinaghahandaan na national tournaments. So ‘yung experience na na-gain nila throughout the year plus the more hours of training na binibigay ng lahat ng players, siguro iyon ‘yung mas magiging edge this year this year compared to last year.”

On May 31, 2022, UST secured the championship in the UAAP Season 84 poomsae tournament. However, later that same year, in December, UST was unable to defend its title and settled for silver behind National University in Season 85.

After securing the silver medal in Season 85, the UST Poomsae Jins participated in four national preseason tournaments. They ruled two of these tournaments: the CPJ Taekwondo Championship and the National Poomsae Championship.

Among the national standouts bolstering the UST roster are SEA Games gold medalist and UAAP Season 84 rookie-MVP Aidaine Laxa and SEA Games bronze medalist Kobe Macario. 

UST rookie Jeus Yape, who finished with bronze alongside DLSU’s Patrick Perez and NU’s Ian Corton at the Muju Taekwondowon 2023 World Taekwondo Poomsae Open Challenge early this November, will make his season debut. 

Vincent Rodriguez, a member of the Season 84 winning team, will be UST’s skipper for the second year in a row, alongside Lady Jin JaeB Viterbo. 

UST mainstays Stella Yape, Chelsea Tacay and Nash Alcairo, as well as rookie Heza Serapio and first-year player Dane Subaste complete the lineup for the Poomsae Jins. 

Another national standout, Jocel Lyn Ninobla, will take part in the team’s quest to reclaim the title, but this time as a member of the coaching staff. She was a former UST Lady Jin and has won three consecutive gold medals in three editions of SEA Games. 

UST will kickstart its UAAP Season 86 poomsae tournament campaign on Monday, Nov. 27, at the Marikina Sports Complex.