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Judo

Ateneo rookie Clemente snares -66 gold

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Former juniors Most Valuable Player and Ateneo de Manila University rookie Nico Clemente stunned his senior rivals to take the -66 kg gold at the UAAP 78 Judo competitions, Wednesday at the La Salle Greenhills St. Benilde Gym.

Edward Borja of De La Salle University, Karl Navarro of University of Santo Tomas, and Almer Suga of University of the Philippines started off the competition in the said division with wins in the round of 16. Borja shocked Migo Carreon of UP after pulling off a throw with a few seconds left on the match. Carreon overpowered Borja throughout the match with a flurry of attacks, but all of them were for nought as the latter took the win. UST’s Navarro and UP’s Suga advanced more easily into the next round with wire-to-wire wins over Angelo Millalos of Adamson University and Thomasian Mafie Saclangan, respectively.

In the quarterfinals, Borja took care of University of the East’s Marvin Acac this time in just two minutes. Navarro booked a semifinals battle with Borja after escaping past Ateneo’s Ralph Sapi. Suga and Clemente arranged their own Final Four showdown with victories over Joshua Oleta of DLSU and Nathan Morales of UE, in that order.

Navarro dominated Borja with two throws for waza-ari each, clinching a shot at the gold medal. In the other semifinals face-off, Suga scored a yuko after just a minute, before Clemente executed a perfect throw to end the match in his favor.

Sapi and Morales then took advantage of the tired Suga and Borja to win the bronze medals. Sapi scored an ippon two minutes into the match, while Borja conceded the match to Morales on the account of accumulated shido.

With the gold medal on the line, Ateneo’s Clemente tried to be aggressive, but Navarro warded off his attacks. Navarro was too defensive that he was penalized four times on the account. These penalties conceded the match and the gold medal to the Atenean.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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