LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA – While La Salle and Ateneo were busy competing against each other, University of Santo Tomas silently set itself up for a showdown in Day 3 of the UAAP Season 82 Swimming Championships, Saturday at the Trace Aquatic Center.
With the surge, the Tiger Sharks has a total of 220 points, only 23 points away from runner-up Ateneo (243 points) and 36 points away from leaders DLSU (256 points).
UST’s Christian Anor led the way for the Tigersharks with his win in 100m Backstroke. Anor narrowly missed the standing UAAP record of 59.49 seconds with his time of 59.50 seconds. DLSU’s Christian Sy (1:00.99) and Ateneo’s Aki Cariño (1:01.29) then rounded out the podium.
Anor (1:57.04) also took home a silver medal in the 200m Freestyle behind runaway Most Valuable Player favorite Sacho Ilustre of La Salle, who topped the event in 1:53.30. Ateneo’s Miguel Barlisan finished third in the event with his time of 1:58.75.
Meanwhile, Ilustre also captured the 50m Butterfly title in 25.47 seconds to notch his sixth gold medal of the season. UST’s Jeremy Jizmundo (26.15 seconds), Reynald Cullentas (26.24 seconds), and Miguel Alvaran (26.24 seconds) shared the podium with him, with the latter two tied for third.
Jexter Chua of La Salle continued to rule the breaststroke events capturing the gold in the 100m Breastroke with a time of 1:06.39, ahead of Ateneo’s Rian Tirol (1:07.11) and Jiron Rotoni (1:07.33).
In the grueling 400m Individual Medley, Ianiko Limfilipino (4:50.61) and Rotoni (4:53.72) provided a 1-2 finish for the Blue Eagles, as UST’s Abraham Arcilla (4:56.74) took the bronze.
Action for the day ended with the exciting and unpredictable 200m Freestyle Relay. Ateneo’s Drei Buhain, Jethro Chua, Josh Taleon, and Barlisan registered a time of 1:37.26 to emerge victorious against archrival La Salle (1:38.45) and UST (1:39.63).
Things are heating up as the battle for the crown boils down to the final six events – the 1500m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 200m Butterfly, 200m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle, and 400m Medley Relay.
UP sits in a distant fourth with 157 points.
The Rookie of the Year race is also a tight two-way battle between UP’s Keane Ting (36 points) and Rotoni (35 points).