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Tiebreaker Times

Ateneo Completes Historic Sweep of UAAP Swimming

While the Men’s Division lead of Ateneo de Manila University simply increased with each day of the tournament, the Women’s team could only hope to hold on to theirs. At the end of the four-day UAAP Season 77 Swimming Tournament, Ateneo emerged on top, besting defending champions University of the Philippines in both the Men’s and Women’s Division. University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University were third in the Men’s and Women’s division, respectively. Ateneo’s succes would also come in the Juniors’ division as their Boys’ team completed a 10-peat feat while UST won in the Girls’ division to end UE’s three year reign.

The Blue Tankers also swept all individual awards as olympian Jessie Lacuna and national swimmer Hannah Dato both completed their seven events with seven gold medals and seven new UAAP records each. Rookie Aldo Batungbacal also concluded his season with a remarkable two gold, five silver and one new UAAP record performance to win the Men’s Division Rookie of the Year award. Ariana Herranz won the same award for the Women’s Division by collecting two golds, two silvers and one bronze medal. For dethroning Men’s champion and Women’s five-peat champion UP, coaches Sherwin Dela Paz and Candice Esguerra both of Ateneo were awarded Coach of the Year of the Men’s and Women’s Divisions, respectively.

The final day of comeptition in the Men’s division saw a total domination of Ateneo as they set three new UAAP records en route to a six gold, two silver, one bronze finish in six events. Axel Ngui won three gold medals for the day in 1500m Freestyle (17:03.81), 50m Backstroke (27.77) and 50m Freestyle (24.21). Batungbacal (17:26.44) won the silver in 1500m Freestyle while Jux Solita of UST (17:37.50) took home the bronze. In 50m Backstroke, it was UP’s Charlie Walker (28.40) walking away with the silver and Ateneo’s Jan Jeric Santos (29.00) with the bronze. Walker (24.73) again finishes second to Ngui in 50m Freestyle while DLSU’s Red Silvestre (25.15) finished third.

Lacuna capped his first season swimming for Ateneo by erasing the 2007 mark of Enchong Dee (2:07.91) in 200m Butterfly by recording a time of 2:05.22 in the preliminary session and 2:03.93 in the finals session. Rookies Rydell Ayroso of UP (2:12.39) and Getty Reyes of Ateneo (2:12.88) finished second and third, respectively.

An unexpected result came in the remaining two events of the day as Batungbacal not only touched first but also broke the 2001 record of olympian Timmy Chua (2:25.08) in Men’s 200m Breaststroke by touching at 2:24.23. Teammate Paolo Mutuc followed next at 2:28.42 while UP’s Orpheus Magbanlac touched at 2:31.79. In 400m Medley Relay, Ateneo’s Santos, Mutuc, Gio Palencia and Geoffrey Que teamed up to outlast the favorites from DLSU of Miggy Narciso, Robby Agustin, Pierce Beltran and Troy Espiritu (4:09.90) by surpassing the 1999 record of UP of 4:10.03 with their 4:08.83 finish. UP’s Mark Jayson Alindogan, Jerem Esguerra, Benssen Ong and Joshua Balinas (4:14.78) completed the podium.

It was not the same story in the Women’s side as UP made its final stand at sneaking past Ateneo with mostly events they are favorites in at stake. UP snagged two gold medals in 50m Backstroke and the 400m Medley Relay. A third gold medal was lost as UP’s bet Denjylie Cordero in 200m Breaststroke was disqualified for making an illegal touch at the wall.

Anna Dominique Bartolome of UP (31.36) won the 50m Backstroke gold followed by Ateneo’s Ariana Herranz (31.53) and UP’s Anna Nicole Tan (31.92). Due to the disqualification of Cordero, DLSU’s Sabrina Ingrid Ilustre (2:48.87) won her first gold in 200m Breaststroke. UP’s Joy Rogers (2:49.98) and Jodie De Leon (2:50.00) rounded out the podium.

Dato of Ateneo continued to show her brilliance in the pool by besting Delia Cordero’s 200m Butterfly mark (2:21.34) with her time of 2:19.71 to conclude her campaign this season. Delia Cordero touched next at 2:24.95 while Ilustre came back for the bronze at 2:30.00.

The Ateneo Lady Tankers kept their lead in the overall tally by ruling the 50m Freestyle event. Celina Gonzalez (27.41), Roanne Yu (27.48), Thea Caluma and UST’s Edlyn Son (28.77) filled the podium. But the UP Women’s squad finished their season strong by fielding a star-studded lineup in 400m Medley Relay. Anna Dominique Bartolome, Denjylie Cordero, Denice Cordero and Whitney Dy teamed up to smash the 2012 record of UP (4:39.97) with their time of 4:35.74. Ateneo’s Ma. Andrea Torres, Ramona Datu, Jacquelyn Cruz and Shayn Ting were only able to manage a time of 4:54.72 while UST’s Danica Locsin, Samantha Cambronero, Zsuzsanna Gatchalian and Jana Toledo registered a time of 5:02.72.

This season’s swimming tournament saw twenty-one new UAAP records across the Men’s and Women’s division. Defending champions UP ceded both men’s and women’s crowns to Ateneo. At the end of the competition, all teams came together to congratulate each other in the spirit of sportsmanship. There is no rivalry in this sport – all swimmers are one big family!




Written By

Aldo is an ultimate sports enthusiast who watches and plays a multitude of sports like basketball, volleyball, swimming and water polo. His heart bleeds blue as he graduated in Jesuit institutions and is currently employed in one. Purefoods (or whatever name they call it now) in the PBA and the LA Lakers in the NBA are his favorite basketball teams.

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