NU Despite playing without its biggest star, NU was able to win a fifth consecutive UAAP men’s taekwondo championship. UAAP photo

NU, UST rule UAAP taekwondo tilts

November 30, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 288 views

NATIONAL University’s drive for a fifth straight men’s championship was accomplished even without its biggest star, while University of Santo Tomas made it two in a row in the women’s division of the UAAP taekwondo tournament Wednesday at the Marikina Sports Center.

Bucking the absence of Olympian and last year’s MVP Kurt Barbosa, who missed this season’s campaign due to personal reasons, the Bulldogs nipped the Tiger Jins, 4-3, to complete a five-peat.
UST was actually undefeated in the first four contests before NU pulled it off in the fight that mattered most.

The Tiger Jins spoiled the Bustillos-based program’s bid for a golden double, nipping the Lady Bulldogs, 4-3, in a thrilling finale to complete a 5-0 season.

Season MVP and featherweight (under-68 kg) gold medalist Nusair Lao was delighted to see NU triumph even without Barbosa.

“Mindset lang po namin is sumunod lang po sa sinasabi ng coaches kahit kulang kami ng isa. And worth it naman lahat ng pinaghirapan ng team,” said Lao, a 23-year-old sophomore out of Pagadian City.

Tournament MVP honors in the women’s division went to featherweight (under-57 kg) Laizel Abucay of UST.

Far Eastern University placed third in the men’s division, beating La Salle via tiebreak despite having identical 3-2 slates.

UST’s bantamweight (under-63 kg) gold medalist Legolas Peñaredondo went home with the Rookie of the Year honors.

La Salle reached the podium in the women’s side with a 3-2 slate, with bantamweight silver medalist Angeline Alcantara taking home the Rookie of the Year plum.