UST leads UAAP Season 86 seniors division general championship in first half

UST leads UAAP Season 86 seniors division general championship in first half

THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas (UST) once again claimed the lead in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 seniors division’ general championship race with 12 medals to show after the exciting first semester of play.

The Growling Tigers, who won seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals in 19 sporting events so far, amassed 202 points to seize the driver’s seat entering the second semester.

UST’s biggest performance was in women’s basketball courtesy of the Growling Tigresses, who ended the dynasty of the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs via epic fashion.

The Espana-based squad unseated NU after its reign for seven consecutive years, thus snapping its 17-year title drought. Included in the three-game conquest was UST’s first wins against NU after a 20-game, 11-year losing skid.

Santo Tomas also captured crowns in pet events like men’s chess, men’s table tennis, poomsae, men’s and women’s beach volleyball and women’s taekwondo.

The Growling Tigers copped the silver medal in men’s taekwondo, men’s and women’s judo. They finished with bronze medals in women’s swimming and women’s athletics.

The University of the Philippines (UP) currently lurks behind UST with 172 points while Ateneo de Manila University is in close third place with 167 points.

UP won the women’s swimming and men’s judo while Ateneo reigned supreme in the men’s swimming as well as in the men’s and women’s badminton.

De La Salle University, last year’s runner-up, is at No. 4 with 160 points highlighted by its first men’s basketball title in seven years after besting UP in the three-game finale.

NU (136), Far Eastern University (107), Adamson University (52) and host University of the East (41) followed in order in the point system handing out 15, 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the top three finishers of each event.

If Santo Tomas, the winningest overall champion with 46 general titles, keeps its pace in the second semester with a bevy of events left, it’s on track for a seventh straight general championship in the college division.

In Season 85, UST won the double UAAP crown for the fifth season in a row also winning the juniors division for the fifth straight year.

It’s supposed to be a twin-title for Santo Tomas for the sixth consecutive year but the juniors division was not held in the shortened Season 84 in the middle of the pandemic. — John Bryan Ulanday