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Blue Eagles establish insurmountable lead; Lady Maroons close in on Lady Eagles



[nextpage title = “Day 3 Recap”]
Day Three of the 78th UAAP Swimming Championship saw the Ateneo de Manila University pull further away from challenger De La Salle University in the Men’s Division. In the distaff side, the University of the Philippines set up an interesting final day as they further trimmed down the lead established by Ateneo.

It was another day of dominance for the Ateneo Blue Tankers as they piled up a total of five gold medals, four of them in record fashion, three silver medals and three bronze medals in six events. The DLSU Green Tankers managed to bring home a gold medal in UAAP record time, two silver medals and a bronze medal. The UP Fighting Maroons managed to get a silver and bronze medal each while UST went away with one bronze medal.

Jessie Lacuna of Ateneo had a big day ahead as he was set to swim three events – the 200m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, and the 400m Individual Medley. It wound up being no problem as he managed to win all of them. In the 200m Freestyle, he clocked 1:54.78 to hold off teammate Axel Ngui, who timed 1:57.35, and his brother Dexter Lacuna, swimming for UP, who touched at 1:59.84.

Lacuna returned to the pool moments later for the 50m Butterfly, where he broke another record in 25.31 seconds, lowering his previous mark of 25.47 seconds. Red Silvestre of DLSU collected the silver medal by finishing in 25.89 seconds while UST’s Brayan Celestial rounded out the podium in 26.37 seconds.

In his final event of the day, Lacuna emerged victorious in the gruesome 400m Individual Medley where he found enough strength to shave off almost two seconds from his previous best, with a time of 4:25.89. Fellow Blue Tanker Aldo Batungbacal took the silver medal with a personal best time of 4:39.65 while DLSU rookie Neil Puyo took home the bronze in 4:50.27.

It was Batungbacal’s second silver medal for the day as he was also runner-up in the 100m Breaststroke which he won last season. Ateneo’s Giancarlo Silva won the event in 1:06.08, touching ahead of Batungbacal who timed 1:06.15. Batungbacal would repeatedly charge Silva but to no avail. Teammate Paolo Mutuc surprised everyone with his bronze medal time of 1:07.24 to make it an all-Ateneo podium finish. Silva broke the 12-year old record of Olympian Timmy Chua in the preliminary session with a time of 1:05.93.

Ngui and Puyo would set up a showdown for the 100m Backstroke. In the end, Ngui prevailed over the rookie by matching the standing UAAP record of former DLSU tanker Johan Aguilar of 59.49 seconds. Puyo registered a lower personal best time of 1:00.07. Atenean Jeric Santos collected the bronze medal with a time of 1:01.99.

Rounding out the day, the 200m Freestyle Relay never fails to draw the excitement from the stands. The team from DLSU of Alfonso Bautista, Troy Espiritu, Red Silvestre and Miguel Narciso ruled the event to deny Ateneo a sweep, on their way to a new UAAP record of 1:39.21. UP’s Lans Donato, Rafael Agtarap, Alfred Rojo and Christen Mercado touched next in 1:40.56, also below the standing UAAP mark. Even Ateneo’s Brandon Sing, Justin Sy, Paolo Mutuc and Aldo Batungbacal with a time of 1:40.68 were below the record time but were only good enough for the bronze.

In the Women’s Division, Ateneo took home five gold medals, two of them in record time, and two silver medals, but the lone gold medal, three silver medals and three bronze medals of UP were enough to further close the gap between the two teams. DLSU took home one silver and bronze medal each while UST managed to snare two bronze medals.

Hannah Dato led the way for the Ateneo Lady Tankers by ruling the 50m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley, both in new UAAP record times. She registered a time of 27.75 seconds in the morning preliminaries but further brought it down to 27.66 seconds in the afternoon finals. Last year, she set the record of 28.20 seconds. In second was UP rookie Janna Taguibao with her time of 29.77 seconds, while in third was another UP rookie Teresa Dela Rosa who finished in 30.04 seconds.

Dato finished the day by shaving off two seconds from her record last year in the 400m Individual Medley with her new best time of 5:03.71. Ateneo rookie Romina Gavino took the silver medal in 5:22.62 while UST’s Angelic Saavedra took the bronze medal in 5:26.77.

Ateneo’s Kimberly Uy concluded her UAAP swimming career with a bang by ruling the 200m Freestyle in 2:13.02. She retires from the UAAP scene with the 800m Freestyle record in her name. Teammate Ariana Herranz finished next in 2:14.68 while UP’s rookie Nadine Tee Ten completed the podium with her time of 2:14.89.

Later on, Herranz swam the 100m Backstroke in 1:07.51 where she emerged victorious over UP’s Mikee Bartolome, who registered a time of 1:07.72. DLSU rookie Cathy Bondad took the bronze in 1:08.57.

UP again ruled the breaststroke event courtesy of Joy Rodgers who clocked 1:17.50, reigning over DLSU’s Ingrid Ilustre (1:18.41) and UP’s April Bartolome (1:18.78).

The Ateneo team of Shaye Uy, Andrea Torres, Shayn Ting and Hannah Castaneda sped to a gold medal time of 1:54.70 in the 200m Freestyle Relay, topping UP’s team of Teresa Dela Rosa, Nicole Tan, Michaela Alcover and Ariana Canaya who only managed a 1:56.67 finish. UST’s Zoe Teodoro, Althea Belen, Zsuzsanna Gatchalian and Jana Toledo took home the bronze medal in 1:58.89.

With only one day left in the competition, the individual awards race is becoming clearer. Jessie Lacuna and Hannah Dato both are shoe-ins for the Most Valuable Player medals. The Rookie of the Year race is a tight competition between Ateneo’s Eman Dapat and DLSU’s Neil Puyo in the Men’s Division, and Ateneo’s Romina Gavino, and UP’s Pricila Aquino, Janna Taguibao, and Nadine Tee Ten in the Women’s Division.

The final day of the 78th UAAP Swimming Championship continues at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Complex where the teams vie for medals in the 50m Backstroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle and 400m Medley Relay.
[nextpage title = “Awarding and Points”]

Men’s DivisionWomen’s Division
1. Ateneo de Manila University400 points1. Ateneo de Manila University341 points
2. De La Salle University2002. University of the Philippines309
3. University of the Philippines1373. De La Salle University120
4. University of Santo Tomas814. University of Santo Tomas92
5. National University675. University of the East26
6. University of the East,
Adamson University



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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