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Ateneo inches closer to the crown even as UP tries to stage a comeback



The Blue Tankers of Katipunan kept the medals and records coming with a terrific 9 Gold, 6 Silver, 2 Bronze and 6 new UAAP Records haul in Day Three of the four day UAAP Season 77 Swimming Championships. The other 3 Gold medals were split between UP (2) and DLSU (1). This dominance translated into an insurmountable lead in the Men’s competition. However, UP attempts to stage a comeback as they cut the deficit of Ateneo in the Women’s division.

Jessie Lacuna of Ateneo could very well be this season’s Most Valuable Player as he added three golds coupled with three UAAP records to his total. That’s a running total of six gold medals with six UAAP records in three days of competition. He will complete his conquest in the final day of competition swimming 200m Butterfly.

Likewise, teammate Hannah Dato, who swam exactly the same events as Lacuna so far, managed to come up with exactly the same result – three golds and three UAAP records for a sum total of six golds and six UAAP records. She is definitely this season’s best candidate for MVP.

Day three of the competition began with an all-blue performance in Men’s 200m Freestyle as Ateneo bets Lacuna (1:53.02), Axel Ngui (1:56.28) and Gio Palencia (2:00.91) filled the podium. Lacuna set the UAAP mark in the morning session with a time of 1:53.81 but quickly broke that in the afternoon finals session.

This event would be followed by another dominating performance, this time by Lacuna’s teammate Aldo Batungbacal. The rookie Batungbacal won the gold medal in 100m Breaststroke by registering a time of 1:07.38. Coming in as second was DLSU bet Robby Agustin (1:09.55) followed by UP’s Orpheus Magbanlac (1:09.66).

Lacuna would immediately come back to swim 50m Butterfly. He again touched first with a UAAP record time of 25.47 while DLSU’s Pierce Beltran followed next in 26.23 and UP’s Gabe Castelo rounding out the podium at 26.63.

It was a tighter competition in the Men’s 100m Backstoke event as Charlie Walker of UP and Getty Reyes of Ateneo battled it out stroke per stroke till the end with Walker reigning supreme at 1:02.46 and Reyes left with the silver at 1:02.52. Jan Jeric Santos of Ateneo finished third at 1:02.96.

The day’s final individual event, 400m Individual Medley, would be ruled by Lacuna again as he broke the UAAP record in his 4:41.29 finish in the preliminary session but clearly bested that in the finals session by achieving a 4:37.10 time. Teammate Batungbacal followed next in 4:45.65 while UST’s Franz Marquez finished in 4:50.79.

DLSU’s team of Joey Pronove, Miggy Narciso, Red Silvestre and Pierce Beltran surprised everyone in 200m Freestyle Relay with a record performance by breaking the old UAAP mark of 1:41.95 with their time of 1:41.10. The Ateneo team of Sylver Sison, Brandon Sing, Geoffrey Que and Paolo Mutuc only managed a time of 1:41.76 for second while UP’s team of Joshua Balinas, Carl Dela Cruz, Rafael Agtarap and Gabe Castelo was at third in 1:42.49.

Meanwhile, Dato began her day by erasing the 2:09.56 UAAP mark in Women’s 200m Freestyle with her time of 2:07.87. She would be followed by teammate Kim Uy who finished at 2:13.22 while UP’s Delia Cordero touched next at 2:14.24.

Dato’s next event was 50m Butterfly where top seed Delia Cordero of UP established a new UAAP record in the preliminary session with her time of 28.73. But this only fueled Dato to come in stronger in the finals session. She would register 28.20 in the afternoon, clearly ahead of her competition. Teammate Celina Gonzalez ended second with 29.40 while Cordero slid to third at 29.80.

To cap her remarkable day off, Dato came back to swim in the 400m Individual Medley finals in record fashion. In the morning session, her time of 5:09.30 already surpassed the old UAAP record. In the finals session, she further improved with a new UAAP record of 5:05.58. Siblings Denjylie And Delia Cordero of UP came next at 5:16.28 and 5:24.30, respectively.

Denjylie Cordero also broke her old UAAP record in 100m Breaststroke with her preliminary session time of 1:13.88. She only achieved 1:13.98 in the finals but was way ahead of her teammates Ma. Kristina Bartolome (1:18.08) and Joy Rodgers (1:18.76). UP proves to be the masters of Breaststroke having ruled the podium in both the 50m and 100m distances.

In 100m Backstroke, rookie Ariana Herranz of Ateneo continued to prevail. Her time of 1:05.77 would be the fastest in the finals. Anna Dominique Bartolome of UP came next at 1:07.08 while another rookie, Claire Galang of UE, finished with 1:09.51. Herranz has so far conquered the backstroke events this weekend.

Finally, in the 200m Freestyle Relay, Ateneo’s team of Ma. Andrea Torres, Sandra Gojar, Celina Gonzalez and Roanne Yu clocked 1:54.37 proving too much for UP’s team of
Monica Padilla, Antoinette Aquino, Anna Nicole Tan and Denjylie Cordero who were only good for 1:57.96. DLSU’s Ma. Isabelita Teano, Ma. Carina Guanio, Mariel Carandang and Sarah Castaneda were third at 2:00.75.

Entering the final day of competition, Ateneo continues to rule the Men’s Division, breaking away from UP. In the Women’s Division, UP is slowly catching up with pace-setting Ateneo. Only six events remain for the Men’s Division – 1500m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle and 400m Medley Relay. For the Women’s Division, five events are up for grabs – 50m Backstroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle and 400m Medley Relay. Catch our live Twitter updates for the UAAP Season 77 Swimming Championships in @TiebreakerTimes.






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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