For the fifth straight season, University of Santo Tomas emerged as the overall champion in both the collegiate and high school divisions of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines during the closing ceremony of the league’s 85th season on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
UST amassed 336 points in the collegiate division and 217 points in the high school division, securing both titles comfortably.
This marks UST’s sixth straight overall championship and 46th overall in the seniors’ division. Additionally, the school achieved its seventh consecutive juniors title and 22nd overall.
In the collegiate division, the Growling Tigers triumphed in women’s 3×3, men’s and women’s beach volleyball, men’s table tennis, women’s taekwondo, men’s judo, men’s tennis, women’s athletics, and men’s chess.
Meanwhile, the Tiger Cubs dominated the girls’ table tennis, boys’ taekwondo, girls’ beach volleyball, boys’ and girls’ swimming, boys’ and girls’ judo, and girls’ athletics tournaments.
“At UST, we are thrilled once again to have won the general championships in both the college and high school divisions. We take great pride in our tradition of producing excellent and world-class student-athletes,” said UST’s representative to the Board of Managing Directors Gigi Kamus.
De La Salle University secured second place in the collegiate division with 279 points, while the University of the Philippines completed the top three with 260 points.
In the high school division, De La Salle-Zobel finished second with 139 points, followed by Far Eastern University-Diliman with 134 points.
The UAAP assigns 15 points for a championship, 12 points for second place, 10 points for third place, and continues decreasing down to one point for the eighth-place finisher.
Xiandi Chua from La Salle and Nickole Dela Cruz from UP were named Athletes of the Year in the collegiate division. Kent Jardin from Adamson and Johnrey Pasaol from Far Eastern University-Diliman were crowned the Athletes of the Year for the high school division.
Chua claimed six gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal during the women’s swimming championships, setting four league records. She also won gold in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games’ 200m backstroke event, setting a new games record with a time of 2:13.20.
Dela Cruz led UP to the softball finals and was named the tournament MVP. She also received awards for Best Slugger, Best Hitter, and Most Runs Batted In. She was part of the RP Blu Girls pool for the 2023 Asian Women’s Softball Championship.
Jardin guided Adamson High School to its first boys’ athletics crown in 24 years, winning all seven of his events.
Pasaol powered FEU-D to the boys’ basketball crown. He was selected for the Mythical Team in 5-on-5 basketball and won the MVP award in the 3×3 tournament.
The league also honored the 73 student-athletes who represented the country in the SEA Games.
Gold medalists Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa (men’s basketball), La Salle’s Chua (women’s swimming), Michael Phillips (men’s basketball), and Patrick King Cruz (men’s individual poomsae), NU’s Kurt Barbosa (men’s kyorugi), UE’s Mecca Cortizano (women’s team obstacle race), UP’s Erika Burgos (mixed relay aquathlon), and UST’s Nicole Labayne and Aidaine Laxa (team female poomsae) were among the UAAP’s representatives in Team Philippines.
Each of the eight member schools also recognized their top athlete-scholars.
Celebrated were Adamson’s Trisha Tubu (women’s volleyball), Ateneo’s Marjorie Manguiat (women’s swimming), La Salle’s Chua (women’s swimming), FEU’s Gio Pabualan (men’s football), NU’s Jessica Carcueva (women’s lawn tennis), UE’s Jewel Rafael (women’s judo), UP’s John Viron Ferrer (men’s judo), and UST’s Djulia Brion (women’s swimming).
For the high school division, Adamson’s Johnray Abayon (boys’ basketball), Ateneo’s Ivo Enot (boys’ swimming), DLSZ’s Juliana Yamson (girls’ table tennis), FEU-D’s Mhage Sebastian (girls’ chess), NUNS’ Alphecca Gonzales (girls’ chess), and UE’s Alexza Gatdula (girls’ judo) were the athlete-scholars.
To close out the season, Adamson formally passed the hosting duties to UE.
Season 86 will have a theme of ‘Fueling the Future’.
“It will be a challenging task as we have 85 years of UAAP tradition to uphold. However, with the highly experienced sports director, Rod Roque, by my side, I am confident that we can accomplish it. We believe that with the support of everyone, we will successfully host Season 86 of the UAAP,” said UE president and Season 86 chairman Dr. Zosimo Battad.
Earlier, UST also swept the Streetdance Competition with college squad Prime and High School team Galvanize ruling the competition.
Prime, who had a theme of ‘Lego’, amassed 448 points. They only led NU’s Dance Company by two points.
Completing the podium in the seven-team event was UP Street Dance Club with 437.5 points.
Meanwhile, Galvanize tallied 437.5 points. Adamson’s Dance Company Street (393.5 pts) and FEU-X (376) completed the three-team field.
It was UST’s first title in the competition.