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Mercado wins all-UST final, takes -55kg gold

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University of Santo Tomas’ Daryl Mercado sneaked in another waza-ari as time expired in the Final and snared the gold medal for -55kg over his schoolmate Russel Lorenzo, Wednesday, at the La Salle Greenhills St. Benilde Gym.

Both Lorenzo and Mercado took the full route to reach their all-UST championship showdown. Lorenzo earlier dispatched Miko Pelobello of University of the East and Rafael Dela Rosa of University of the Philippines. After that, he pulled through against David Gordon of De La Salle University in the semifinals.

Mercado, on the other hand, dominated all of his three matches, all of them won on ippon. The former -60kg silver medallist peppered UP rookie Xavier Bustamante in 51 seconds, before bulldozing through the defenses of Adamson University’s Dikembre Moreno and Ateneo de Manila University’s Jhon De Jesus. That sealed the deal for the final between him and Lorenzo.

Earlier, De Jesus and Gordon had won their quarterfinal matches against Raul Baldos Jr. of UE and Felix Lopez of Ateneo respectively, to reach the final four. Gordon easily took care of Lopez in 24 seconds of match time. De Jesus, on his part, had a harder time against Baldos, but a yuko was enough to propel him to the last eight.

Gordon went on to win one of the bronze medals, as he continued his dominant run with a win over Baldos in the third-place playoff. Lopez snared the other bronze after winning over his training partner De Jesus in an all-Ateneo match.

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

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