MANILA, Philippines – University of the East reigned supreme in the men's division for the eighth straight year while its women's squad regained the throne Friday, February 14 in the UAAP Season 82 fencing tournament at the Paco Arena.
In high school aciton, UE also completed a golden double as the Junior Warriors gave Samantha Catantan a fitting send-off by winning a ninth consecutive girls crown, while their boys' team achieved a 10-peat.
The Red Warriors bested Ateneo, 45-42, in the men's team foil finals to complete a 5-gold, 1-silver medal haul for their 14th title overall.
Sammuel Tranquilan exited UE as a winner, capturing his third straight MVP award.
"Marami naman tayong mga rising stars na parating. Tuloy-tuloy naman kaming nagte-training mula sa ilalim. Yung transition talaga namin malalim," said UE coach Amatov Canlas.
(We have a lot of rising stars coming. There’s constant training right from the junior ranks, so there’s a really good transition.)
A good example is Rookie-MVP winner Queendenise Dalmacio, who led the Lady Warriors in collecting 4 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronze medals for a league-best 13th crown.
"Tumaas din ang level ni Queen magmula noong nakapasok siya sa national team. Naglaro siya ng SEA Games kaya iba na ang mental toughness niya," said Canlas, who also handled the national team that won two gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
(Queen’s level of play improved after she made it to the national team. She also competed in the SEA Games, so her mental toughness is there.)
The 20-year old Dalmacio was impressive, especially in ruling the women's individual saber event on the second day of competition.
UE topped De La Salle, 45-36, in the women's team epee Finals and returned in the afternoon with a 45-19 conquest of University of Santo Tomas in the women's team saber gold medal match.
The Blue Eagles finished second in the men's side with a 1-3-2 haul, while the Green Archers had a 0-1-5 tally in 3rd place.
De La Salle took the women’s runner-up honors with a 1-2-1 slate, while last season's champion Ateneo settled for 3rd with 1-1-2.
Behind Catantan's heroics in juniors action, UE rallied past UST, 45-44, in the girls' team saber final and completed a six-gold sweep with a 45-30 win again over UST in the girls' team epee final.
An Asian U23 gold medalist who will play for US NCAA Division I's Penn State in college, Catantan emerged as the MVP once more, leaving a lasting legacy for the Junior Warriors' program.
"Sobrang layo na ng narating na ni Sam," said Canlas. "From UE to UAAP, tapos nadiscover siya sa US, pupunta sa magandang school. Hindi lang Penn State ang nag-recruit sa kanya. Maraming school. Pero ang sabi ko sa kanya mas maganda sa Penn State, gagaling at tataas ang level mo”
(Sam has come a long way. From UE to UAAP, then she got discovered in the US, where she’s going to a good school. And it’s not just Penn State that recruited her, there were other schools. But I told her that Penn State is good, her level of play there will improve.)
UST and De La Salle-Zobel finished 2nd (0-3-6) and 3rd (0-0-3), respectively.
In the boys' division, MVP Shawn Felipe powered UE to a 45-9 dismantling of UST in the team foil final to cap a scintillating 5-gold romp.
The Junior Warriors, who also captured 2 silvers and 2 bronzes, clinched their 10th straight boys crown as early as last Thursday.
Ateneo added a boys' team foil bronze to its 1-1-4 haul to finish 2nd while Far Eastern University-Diliman completed the podium with a 0-2-1 tally. – Rappler.com