University of the Philippines leaned on the efforts of sophomore Zarchie Garay to finish on top after Day 1 of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Judo Championships, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fighting Maroons collected 20 points, holding a small four-point lead over reigning back-to-back champion University of Santo Tomas.
The former Far Eastern University Tamaraw stunned heavy favorite and two-time half-heavyweight champion Keith Reyes in the final off a last-second throw that merited ippon.
“Okay na ‘ko. Manalo, matalo, okay lang ako,” said Garay ahead of the gold medal match. “But then last playing year na kasi nung mga seniors namin, so ang ginawa ko kahit natanggal na ‘yung balikat ko kanina, nilaban ko na lang din.
“Kaya kahit sabihin na nating five-percent chance ‘yung winning rate ko, ‘yun na lang ‘yung ginawa kong puhunan para ‘di ko pagdudahan ‘yung sarili ko.”
Rookie and Southeast Asian Games bronze medallist Jayvee Ferrer of UP was impressive in his UAAP debut, capping it with win over his senior Yonji Avendano after the latter accumulated three penalties.
Second-year Ateneo Blue Eagle Bernie Margulies snared his second straight gold in the half-middleweight class, taking down UST’s Daniel Amores. Marguilies earlier stopped SEA Games sambo gold medalist and UST rookie Chino Sy to book his place in the final.
On Sunday, the minus-55kg, minus-60, minus-66, and minus-73 tournament will take place at the same venue.