by David Tristan Yumol
Poomsae jins from the University of the Philippines (UP) failed to notch for back-to-back titles after a bridesmaid finish in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 campaign at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City, Wednesday.
The Diliman-based jins bagged medals in all of the five events of the tourney as they tallied a total of one gold, one silver, and three bronzes.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST), meanwhile, reclaimed the overall championship they lost to UP last year by ruling three out of the five events, with a silver to add.
The Espana-based jins were the inaugural champions of the UAAP poomsae tournament since it became a regular sport in the collegiate league two years ago.
De La Salle University (DLSU) finished third overall with one gold, one silver, and two bronzes to show.
Luck was not on the side of UP as Dustin Jacob Mella became the only bright spot for the Maroon jins in the penultimate day of the competition.
Mella topped the men’s individual poomsae event with a score of 8.435, while UST’s Rodolfo Reyes (8.28) and DLSU’s Mac Alob (8.22) grabbed the silver and bronze respectively.
Although Mella cannot sustain his winning form in the men’s team event as he only settled with a silver there, together with Lyan Llanto and Roman Sta. Romana.
The UP trio scored 8.235 points behind the winning UST triad led by veteran Vidal Marvin Gabriel (8.27) and ahead of DLSU (8.18).
In the distaff side, UP’s Patricia Jubelag only managed to finish for a bronze in the women’s individual event as she notched only 7.9525 points. It was way behind the score of DLSU’s Rinna Babanto who scored 8.32 points to top the event for the second straight year. Juvenile Crisostomo of Far Eastern University (FEU) copped the silver medal with 8.235 points.
UP also got a bronze at the women’s team event as Jubelag, Janna Oliva, and Minelle Dabalus showed their wares.
Their 7.885-point production was enough to salvage a third place finish behind the high marks of UST (8.165) and FEU (8.015).
The mixed pair team of Oliva and Jayboy Buenavista also copped a bronze, registering 7.97 points.
UST again notched the gold in that event with a score of 8.365 while DLSU grabbed the silver with 8.33 points.
Despite being dethroned this year, UP head coach Janice Lagman was satisfied with her team’s finish in which she noted the remarkable performance of the jins.
“All of the members of the team went in the finals, which made me surprised. I am so happy and proud for all of them,” she said.
Lagman, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in poomsae, also said that other teams have improved this year. She vowed to perform better for the next season.
“We don’t stop training. We train all year round because we join other national tournaments. These competitions will serve as our preparation for our next year’s campaign in the UAAP,” said Lagman.