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Ateneo’s Lasam defends -60 kg title



In an exciting turn of events, Marco Lasam successfully retained his -60kg gold medal against nine other judoka including reigning Most Valuable Player Al Rolan Llamas, Wednesday at the La Salle Greenhills St. Benilde Gym.

In the first round, University of the Philippines’ rookies Ralph Castillo and Gabriel Salazar suffered different fates in their first-ever UAAP matches. Lasam welcomed Castillo in style after a powerful throw to move on to the quarterfinals. Salazar then took one for the Maroons after he won against Benjamin Bolongaita of De La Salle University.

After Lasam easily took the victory over DLSU’s Adrian Perillo in the first of the Last Eight matches, it did not take long for a stunning upset to happen. In the following match, Khalid Macadadaya of University of the East surprised last year’s MVP Llamas with a throw, 3:20 left on the clock that left the audience in awe.

Macadadaya’s teammate Dante Casibang IV then followed him to the semifinals after escaping past Ronald Arceo of Ateneo. Sherwin De Rosa made sure the defending UAAP champions University of Santo Tomas would have someone in the semifinal with a win over Salazar.

In the semifinals, Lasam sent Macadadaya back to earth after he ended the match at the 2:55 mark with another throw. Casibang prevented a shutout for UE as he survived three penalties to sneak past De Rosa with a yuko.

To make amends from their losses, the veteran Llamas and the rookie Salazar snared the bronze medals both on ippon in both repechage matches. Llamas and Salazar went to the third-place playoffs with wins over Perillo and Arceo. The Thomasian then overpowered his teammate De Rosa to take the first bronze medal. Salazar followed suit with a similarly dominant win over Macadadaya.

In the finals, Lasam was visibly more aggressive than Casibang, but the Red Judoka’s defense held. The reigning champion tried to continue with his attacks until he sneaked in a yuko with only 14 seconds left on the clock to take the match and the gold for the second straight year.


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