Defending four-time UAAP Women’s Judo queens University of Santo Tomas Lady Judokas are up for the challenge but are wary of the danger ahead, particularly of the University of the East Lady Warriors.
The España-based ensemble have a precarious 11-point lead over the Lady Red Judokas after Day 1 of the competition, Saturday at the De La Salle Zobel Sports Pavilion in Muntinlupa City.
The one-two finishes of the reigning champions in the extra-lightweight and lightweight categories fueled them to the top of the table.
In the lighter of these classes, Khrizzie Pabulayan overpowered Kimberly Pantoja in the final. Pantoja actually landed awkwardly on the mat, dislocated her right shoulder, and could not finish the contest. Almira Ruiz took the other gold after stopping training partner Devrah Devaras.
The University of the Philippines’ Celine Ayson and University of the East’s Deane Battala took home the bronze medals in the -48 kg, while Fighting Maroons captain Diane Bargo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s Alyssa Chan bagged those for -57 kg.
The judokas from Recto bagged their two mints from the stellar performances of standouts Claudine Nargatan and Jealane Lopez in the half-lightweight and featherweight categories. The Lady Red Judokas defeated former Rookie of the Year and UST’s Miam Salvador and De La Salle University’s Charmea Quelino, respectively, to pocket the golds.
Tracy Honorio and Rhodesa Bayas, both from UST, finished in third place in the -52 kg class. On the other hand, it was Lady Tiger Judoka Alexis Belen and Lady Green Judoka Carmilla Cadorna who bagged the bronze medals from the -44 kg category.
Despite the lead, UST head coach Gege Arce is quick to say that the competition is far from over. “Medyo nag-aalangan pa kami sa UE kasi may players pa sila na malalakas,” he shared.
The multi-title coach hopes to see more from the girls. He said, “Kailangan mag-perform pa rin at mag-medal.”
UAAP Season 80 Women’s Judo Championships Standings
November 11, 2017 – De La Salle Zobel Sports Pavillion, Muntinlupa City