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La Salle early lead, a good sign for retaining overall title

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Nov 30th 2013

Propped up by victories in the centerpiece men’s and women’s basketball, La Salle tallied 162 points to lead the first half of the season. But the Archers are not yet done this season.

Up and down the ledger, De La Salle University’s dominance spoke volumes in the first semester alone.

But the second semester promises to create more noise for the green-and-white, a top La Salle sports officials said Friday, underscoring the Archers’ chances of retaining the general championship trophy they wrested from multi-titled University of Santo Tomas (UST) last season.

“It looks like we have a good chance of keeping the general championship this season with our overall performance (in the first semester),” La Salle’s UAAP board representative Henry Atayde said.

“Last season, we we’re just up by eight points after the first sem. This season, we ended up the first sem with a 16-point lead (against UST) so I think given that factor and our chances in the second semester, we can win (the general championship) anew.”

Propped up by victories in the centerpiece men’s and women’s basketball, La Salle tallied 162 points to lead the first half of the season.

“Winning the men’s and women’s basketball titles were big factors in our campaign. It really boosted our morale and gave us a big lift going into the second semester,” Atayde added.

Fourteen straight and 38-time general champion UST wound up second with 146 points.

University of the Philippines (UP) came in third with a 133-point aggregate.

La Salle also ruled men’s taekwondo, table tennis, and women’s judo, while taking runner-up honors in men’s swimming, women’s badminton and table tennis. It placed third in men’s judo, women’s taekwondo and swimming.

The Tigers for their part won poomsae and women’s taekwondo on top of second-place finishes in men’s basketball, taekwondo, and men’s and women’s beach volleyball. UST occupied the third spot in men’s badminton, women’s basketball and table tennis.

For the first time though, the Tigers did not compete in women’s swimming to protest the Temporary Restraining Order issued by a Quezon City court  which prevented the UAAP from enforcing its two-year residency rule on former UST high school standout Ana Dominique Bartolome.

Bartolome was eventually allowed to suit up for the UP swimming team in her rookie year despite not securing release papers from UST.

Despite the ruckus, Atayde believes UST still has the numbers to overtake La Salle for the general championship plum.

“UST is a very strong team. The way I see it, they can challenge for the title in men’s volleyball, football, and fencing. Of course, they’re also defending champions in men’s chess. No doubt, they will put up a good fight in all the remaining sports, but we are ready,” he said.

Atayde sees La Salle’s title prospects blooming in men’s and women’s chess, women’s football and women’s volleyball, where the defending champion Lady Spikers are expected to mount a four-peat this season.

UP meanwhile secured titles in men’s and women’s swimming, and women’s table tennis.

Rounding up the standings are Ateneo de Manila University (125 points), Far Eastern University (78 points), National University (74 points), University of the East (68 points) and host Adamson University (51 points).

Every championship is worth 15 points with the rest as follows: second place, 12 points; third, 10 points; fourth, 8 points; fifth, 6 points; sixth, 4 points; seventh, 2 points; and eighth, 1 point.