National University collected its fourth straight men’s championship after completing a 5-0 sweep of the UAAP Season 85 taekwondo tournament, capping with a 4-3 win over University of Santo Tomas Thursday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The title is also the Bulldogs’ fourth title in this season — the second in three days after the program won its first-ever poomsae crown on Tuesday.
“Siyempre, sobrang saya no na na-maintain yung four-peat. Alam naman natin na hindi madali na mag-maintain na ganong streak, kailangan talaga ng hardwork,” NU head coach Carlos Padilla said. “Yung training ng mga bata, hindi biro — two to three times a day, Monday to Saturday. So, binigay sa kanila ngayon. Sobrang happy ako na nagbunga yung pinagpaguran nila.”
Tokyo Olympian Kurt Barbosa kickstarted the day for the Bulldogs after taking care of his national teammate Rommel Pablo Jr, 2-0. Barbosa, who went 5-0 for the season, came from behind in a 12-11 first round before fending off Pablo (4-1), 12-7, in the second to take the 1-0 lead.
Season 82 Most Valuable Player Sturjay Gilbuena (4-0) then captured the title for the squad, 2-0 (5-5, 3-2), over Reyvin Villanueva (4-1) after taking the 4-0 advantage.
Barbosa won his third straight finweight (under-54 kg) gold for the effort and claimed his second MVP award since Season 81 when he was a rookie.
Green Jin Einz Aricayos, who won the welterweight (under-80 kg) title, took the Rookie of the Year honors.
Joining Barbosa on the men’s finweight podium are UST’s Pablo and FEU’s Radiz Navidad (2-3), while Dex Ian Chavez (5-0) of NU are with UST’s Liporada (4-1) and University of the Philippines’ Lois Manalaysay (3-2) completed the flyweight (under-58 kg) rostrum.
Returning Green Jin Carlo Dionisio (5-0) won the bantamweight (under-63 kg) title over NU’s Kurt Pajuelas (4-1) and UST’s Dave Lobaton (3-2). Gilbuena paced the featherweight (under-68 kg) side with Villanueva and UP’s Kyle Laroya (3-2)
Justin Mark Agno (5-0) of UST led the lightweight (under-74) winners with Tamaraw Jemuel Rendora (4-1) and Bulldog Lao Nusair (3-2).
Two DLSU jins took the other two titles with Aricayos and Marc Gasilos (5-0) in the middle/heavyweight (over-80 kg). In the welterweight podium with Aricayos (5-0) are UST’s Israel Cantos (4-1) and FEU’s Hedwig Yap (3-2), while UST’s Mark Arby (4-1) and NU’s Gab Soria (3-2) joined Gasilos.