With the title still up for grabs until the last day of the competition, it was the dream of a decade-long dynasty that prevailed.
The University of the East Lady Warriors shook off the scare of two other universities to stamp their dominance in UAAP women’s fencing, taking their tenth consecutive title, Saturday at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena.
The Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas crowded the then-nine-time champions with a gold medal each, trailing the latter by just a mint, prior to the championship’s last day.
That marginal gold came Friday morning as Justine Tinio steered UE’s defense of the foil team gold over De La Salle University. Last year’s Cinderella finishers University of the Philippines slid to third place this year. Ateneo de Manila University took the other bronze.
Come Saturday, the Red and White ladies just held on to the throne. The Southeast Asian Games individual foil silver medalist also shared that she personally put her sights on such goal. “Sinet ko na po yung sarili ko na kailangang manalo dun sa dalawang events [ngayon].”
The result is a sweep of both the epee and sabre team events. The Lady Warriors fittingly upended the championship contenders Ateneo and then UST, respectively, to seal the reign extension.
La Salle and UST picked up the bronzes in the epee three-woman play, while UP and Ateneo took the ones for sabre. Graduating Ateneo fencer Andrea Ignacio saved her best for last after carrying the Lady Eagles in all the three weapons. Her efforts of bringing back the Loyola-based school to the podium earned her the Most Valuable Player award.
UAAP Season 75 Rookie of the Year Tinio felt a sense of fulfillment after leading her squad to their tenth straight crown, “Masaya po na naging part ako, na isa ko sa nakakuha ng gold medals para madefend namin yung championship.”
The reason is, Tinio shared, “Pinaghirapan namin to. Pati Saturday, Sunday, nagtetraining kami. Kaya kaya namin to kahit anim lang kami.”
Even as the decorated UE team captain leaves the UAAP piste, she believes that her teammates have what it takes to prolong their dynasty.
The former MVP said, “Kaya pa rin nilang mag-champion. Tiwala lang kay God. Bukod kay God, tiwala lang sarili. Kung hindi ka magtitiwala sa sarili mo, bakit ka pa nandiyan? At tiwala rin sa coach. Dapat pareho kayo ng goals.”