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Tiebreaker Times

Blue Tankers Sustain Strong Start In Day Two

Two days into the UAAP Season 77 Swimming Championships and we’re halfway done. After the near flawless start of Ateneo in Day One, they emerge still on top with UP still in contention.

In the Men’s Division, UP squeezed in two gold medals but yielded the other three to Ateneo. Gaston Beloso of UP swam the 50m Breaststroke Finals as a 7th seed but scored a major upset by touching first at 31.49. Ateneo’s rookie Aldo Batungbacal earned his 3rd silver medal by finishing at 31.72 while DLSU Captain Kito Zialcita closely followed at 31.75.

UP’s other gold medal performance came in the 400m Freestyle Relay. With a star-studded crew of Joshua Balinas, Jao Elamparo, Gabe Castelo and Charlie Walker, the UP team turned a toe to toe battle with Ateneo into a complete mastery of their rivals by the time Walker swam the fourth and last leg. They clocked 3:47.23, clearly ahead of Ateneo’s team of Jan Jeric Santos, Geoffrey Que, Sylver Sison and Robie Batungbacal who finished at 3:51.06 and DLSU’s team of Joey Pronove, Blaise Ampil, JM Ereneta and Troy Espiritu touching at 3:52.08.

For the other three events, it was all Ateneo. Swimming in his third event, Ateneo Rookie of the Year candidate Getty Reyes turned up a gold medal performance in 200m Backstroke by registering a time of 2:13.99, becoming the first rookie to win a gold this season. Incidentally, the podium was filled with rookies in Francis Marquez of UST for the silver (2:17.14) and Brandon Sing of Ateneo and Joshua Ranque of UP tied for bronze (2:19.14).

The remaining two events were won by Jessie Lacuna of Ateneo in record fashion. In the morning session, he erased the 100m Butterfly mark set by Enchong Dee in 2007 (56.38) with a time of 55.79. In the afternoon session, he only managed a 56.01 finish but was still good for the gold medal. Pierce Beltran of DLSU finished in 58.73 for the silver while Gio Palencia of Ateneo held his ground for the bronze at 59.31.

Lacuna was not done for the day though as he dominated the 400m Freestyle event with another phenomenal feat, resetting the 4:08.06 record of teammate Axel Ngui in 2013 by clocking 4:04.86. Ngui was only good enough for a silver medal at 4:08.22 while Franz Marquez ended third at 4:16.80. Lacuna now has three gold medals and UAAP records in as many events he swam.

Almost the same story played out in the Women’s Division as Ateneo finished first in four out of the five events. Leading the way for the Blue Tankers was Hannah Dato, who has matched fellow Atenean Jessie Lacuna’s two gold medals and two UAAP records for the day in the same two events – 400m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly.

Dato took it easy on the preliminary session of 400m Freestyle by clocking 4:52.31 but showed her true form in the finals session by submitting a time of 4:30.76, improving on the 4:33.69 UAAP mark of Ma. Claire Adorna of UP last year. Dato’s teammate Kimberly Uy managed a silver medal at 4:39.07 while UP bet Delia Cordero rounded out the podium with a time of 4:43.77.

In her second event of the day, Dato would prove too much for her competition as she broke the 1:03.44 UAAP record in 100m Butterfly of teammate Anna Celina Gonzalez with a time of 1:02.52 in the preliminary session and a time of 1:02.22 in the finals session. Gonzalez was still good enough for a silver medal at 1:05.20 while Delia Cordero collected another bronze medal at 1:05.61.

Record breaking feats are certainly not limited to Ateneo as Denylie Cordero of UP has again shown us that the 50m Breaststroke UAAP record is not just hers to keep but also break. She surpassed her old record of 34.01 with a time of 33.77 in the preliminary session. It was an all Maroons show in the finals session as Cordero clocked 34.39 while teammates Joy Rodgers (34.53) and Ma. Kristina Bartolome (36.39) filled the podium.

Outside of the 50m Breaststroke event, it was an Ateneo show again as rookie Ariana Herranz went away with the gold medal finishing at 2:26.67 closely followed by Claire Galang of UE who clocked 2:27.73. Anna Dominique Bartolome of UP made sure her team would not be left behind by finishing 3rd at 2:31.36.

Ateneo would finish the day strong by dominating the 400m Freestyle Relay event. The team of Ma. Andrea Torres, Shayn Ting, Jacquelyn Cruz and Roanne Yu led from start till finish en route to the team’s eighth gold medal in ten events so far. They finished at 4:17.87, way ahead of UP’s Michaela Alcover, Erica Lukang, Caitlin Cruz and Monica Padilla who only obtained a time of 4:23.15. UST’s team of Jana Toledo, Zsuzsanna Gatchalian, Isabelle Gubat and Zoe Elisha Teodoro finished third at 4:34.64.

Ten events done, twelve events in two days remain. A lot can still happen. Catch our live Twitter updates for the UAAP Season 77 Swimming Championships in @TiebreakerTimes.




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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