THE National University (NU) Bulldogs had achieved its first Golden Double in the recently-staged UAAP Season 80 taekwondo tournament at the Ateneo Blue Eagles gym in Manila.
Defending champions – the lady bulldogs successfully defended their crown after dominating University of the Philippines (UP), 5-2 in the finals while its senior men’s team finally won its first UAAP title after beating traditional power houses University of Sto. Tomas, UP, and De La Salle University.
Multi-awarded National Team Member and 2017 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Arven Alcantara led the NU men’s team alongside Noel Sabillano, Dave Cea, Keno Mendoza, Diether Baylon, Jean Nigel Buan, and Raymond Cano. Alcantara also took home the tournament MVP honors.
The lady bulldogs, on the other hand, are bannered by eventual MVP Jessica Canabal together with Rhezie Aragon, Nicole Mcaan, and Charisse Viray.
Meanwhile, national champions and Bacolod-hailed Hanah taekwondo standouts Marcus Hinojas and Keith Smart Docado helped the NU bullpups to secure their silver finish behind UST after settled 7th place last season. The young NU team dethroned 3-peat champions-University of the East junior warriors and De La Salle-Zobel. Completing the NU bullpups are Cuper Edera, Sturdy Gilbuena and Gabriel Salaknib Soria.
For NU Bulldogs Taekwondo head coach Jeffrey Figueroa, he felt thankful that finally the Bulldogs has achieved its first Golden Double and almost winning a Grand Slam in this year’s UAAP Season 80. “Our rigid preparations and the school’s undying support played a major role in this successful season for us, also, finding and recruiting the right players to fill in the line-up made it almost easy for us to achieve this. But as always, I keep on reminding all my players not to be contented and to continue to strive for more,” Figueroa said.
Hanah Taekwondo Coach Vic Feria, in a rare occasion, flew all the way from Bacolod to witness and support his players in their first UAAP Season. “I’m really proud of Marcus and Keith, even though they were awarded silver after tying with UST. They performed so well and delivered the goods for NU,” he said.
Following his successful UAAP stint, Hinojas will undergo the final evaluation for the Junior National Team with fellow Hanah Taekwondo teammates and former Cadet National Team members Shaira Isabel Garbanzos and Camille Andrea Miraflores, and Cadet World Champion Mary Angeline Alcantara. This is part of the PTA’s final team selection for the 2018 World Junior Taekwondo Championships and 2018 Youth Olympics.*