UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas and National University successfully defended the men’s and women’s titles at the end of the UAAP chess tournament at the FEU Tech Gym.
The Growling Tigers, who have clinched their second straight championship as early as in the penultimate round, finished with 31.5 points after a 3-1 win over La Salle.
“Pinakapuhunan ko lang talaga yung magandang pakisama rin sa player tulad ngayon andaming player na gustong pumasok (sa amin). Siguro nakikita nila yung way ng samahan, yung way ng pamamalakad sa team.” said UST coach Ronald Dableo.
“Sa totoo lang lahat magagagaling (sa team). Lahat kaya akong talunin. Kaya pinakanaging challenge ko talaga, paano ko papalaruin yung reserve eh.”
University of the Philippines tallied a 3-1 win over Adamson to finish second with 24 points, while Far Eastern University took a 3-1 win over Ateneo to secure third place over La Salle, which missed the podium due to inferior match points.
The Tamaraws and the Green Woodpushers finished with 21 points apiece.
The Growling Tigers’ top board ace Julius Gonzales shared the season MVP honors with the Fighting Maroons’ Fide Master Stephen Pangilinan.
The Lady Bulldogs overcame a final day hiccup to narrowly escape with the women’s crown.
NU lost to FEU, 0.5-3.5, while La Salle scored a 3-1 win over UP, as the two teams to end up tied for the lead with 29.5 points. But the Lady Bulldogs emerged on top by virtue of the match points tiebreaker, leaving the Lady Woodpushers settle for the runner-up honors.
“Down the wire talaga. Deciding yun (last match namin). Kailangan lang kasi namin ng 0.5. Eh natalo kami ng tatlo, naging isang player na lang. Lumamang pa yung La Salle. Grabe yung emosyon,” said coach Jose Aquino Jr., who was seen emotional after seeing Jesca Docena salvage a draw in Board 3 to ensure NU’s second straight championship.
“Ito yung pinakamasaya (na championship). Hindi ko pa nga nagagawa dati yung pagtalon-talon ko dun after makuha ang championship.”
Just like the Growling Tigers, the Lady Bulldogs achieved an extraordinary feat of winning two championships in the same year.
La Salle still has something to celebrate about as Francois Magpily won the Season 85 MVP award after going undefeated throughout the season compiling nine wins and three draws to also take the gold in Board 2.
Ateneo completed the podium cast after making a run in the last three rounds, highlighted by a 4-0 win over Adamson to dislodge FEU with 28.5 points.
FEU-Diliman, meanwhile, completed a golden double in the high school division by securing the boys and girls crowns behind MVPs Christian Marcelo Olaybal and Mhage Sebastian.