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Jessie Lacuna bags 30th UAAP gold as Ateneo continues to flex muscle

The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles reigned supreme in four out of the five events during the second day of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Swimming Championship at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Swimming Pool.

A vintage Jessie Lacuna came to compete, as he collected his 29th and 30th overall individual gold medal in a streak that began in the 77th UAAP Season.

In the day’s first event, the 400m freestyle, Lacuna went straight to work by overpowering his challengers and flirting with his UAAP record (4:01.95) en route to a 4:01.98 finish. De La Salle University’s prized recruit Sacho Ilustre wound up a far second with a time of 4:12.97, while Ateneo’s own rookie Ianiko Limfilipino rounded out the podium with a time of 4:17.18.

Ilustre made another run at overcoming Lacuna in the 100m butterfly, but the two-time Olympian was all business for the day as he reset his 2014 UAAP record of 55.79 seconds with a new UAAP best time of 55.77 seconds. Ilustre again landed second in 56.23 seconds, while Andrae Pogiongko of UP finished third at 57.94.

In the 200m backstroke, last year’s winner, Aki Cariño of Ateneo, once again ruled the event by finishing in 2:11.85 ahead of returning blue tanker Getty Reyes (2:12.36) and La Salle’s rookie Christian Sy (2:13.49).

After struggling in the previous two relay events, Ateneo finally came together in the 400m freestyle relay as the team of Miguel Barlisan, Drei Buhain, Brandon Sing, and Jethro Chua shattered the UAAP record of 3:39.80 established in 2016, with a jaw-dropping time of 3:36.73. The La Salle quartet (3:39.91) – who hung close to Ateneo in the first half of the race – slowly faded into third place behind the University of the Philippines (3:39.04).

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Despite being denied the gold for most of the individual events since the first day, La Salle were able to finally secure their first individual gold in the 50m breaststroke. Alfonso Bautista of La Salle set a new UAAP record in the morning preliminaries with his time of 29.62 seconds, but only managed a second-place finish in the afternoon finals with a time of 30.55 seconds. It was his rookie teammate Jexter Chua who bagged the gold medal in 29.90 seconds. The previous record-holder, Carlo Silva of Ateneo, failed to match his old record time of 29.69 seconds but still brought home the bronze medal by registering a time of 30.79 seconds.

UAAP Swimming action continues on November 10, 2018 and will run until November 11, 2018 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Swimming Pool. Day 3 events include the 200m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 400m individual medley, and the 200m freestyle relay.

MVP Race

Jessie Lacuna (ADMU) – 60
Sacho Ilustre (DLSU) – 46
Aldo Batungbacal (ADMU) – 35
Ianiko Limfilipino (ADMU) – 21
Christian Anor (UST) – 19

Team Standings

ADMU – 221
DLSU – 166
UST – 85
UP – 69
UE – 12

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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