RINNA Babanto powered De La Salle to its second title in three years Tuesday night in the UAAP Season 81 poomsae tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Babanto capped her collegiate career in spectacular fashion, winning the gold in the individual female and mixed pair events, helping the Green Jin in bringing back the crown to Taft.
A former world champion, Babanto tallied 8.180 to best her fellow Asian Games bronze medalists Nikki Oliva of University of the Philippines (8.100) and Juvenile Faye Crisostomo of Far Eastern University (7.900).
Babanto then teamed up with Patrick Perez in annexing the mixed pair gold with 8.235, topping University of Santo Tomas’ Jerel Dalida and Cyrinne Abenir (8.200) and UP’s Jayboy Buenavista and Pat Jubelag (8.015).
De La Salle completed gold medal sweep of individual events courtesy of Perez, who emerged victorious in the men’s category with 8.305. UST’s Adrian Ang bagged the silver with 8.150 while National University’s Kier Macalino took the bronze with 8.035.
Babanto got the sweet exit that she deserves by becoming the league’s first-ever poomsae MVP, while Perez bagged the Rookie of the Year honors.
“Oh my God, hindi ko po ini-expect. Sobra,” said an elated Babanto, the Cebuana who is currently the face of poomsae.
The Green Jins’ poomsae program is in good hands with Babanto passing the torch to Perez.
“He is very passionate and hardworking person I know. Sobrang gustong-gusto niya na magkapag-contribute sa team. I believe in him 100 percent in the next competition. I expect more medals,” said Babanto on Perez.
The Growling Tigers, last season’s champion who topped the team male event, finished second with 1-3-0 medal haul, while the Fighting Maroons, who ruled the team female category, captured third spot (1-1-2).
In juniors taekwondo, UST bested University of the East and National University to remain in the throne.
End it…end it
CAPTION: De La Salle, behind MVP Rinna Babanto and Rookie of the Year winner Patrick Perez, reclaimed the UAAP poomsae championship.