BAGUIO CITY -- Riding high on its win of the men’s basketball crown, University of Baguio (UB) Cardinals got things going for its overall title retention bid of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) by striking gold in various sports events over the weekend.
Despite the loss of the women’s basketball crown, UB won in five other events, holding perennial rivals University of the Cordilleras (UC) and Saint Louis University (SLU) at bay after the two schools gathered four and one mints, respectively.
UB’s juggernauts saw them sweeping the archery and badminton events and wrested the men’s chess title from UC.
UB finished second in both wushu divisions, behind powerhouse UC under the tutelage of former national team members, among them former ONE Championship flyweight king Geje Eustaquio.
It also got silver medals in women’s table tennis, women’s chess, and women’s basketball.
The Cardinals wound up third in sepak takraw, while they are also expected to finish fourth, dead last in baseball.
Sans baseball which is expected to be finished by December 5, the defending overall titlist has amassed 340 points, 58 points off 2017 overall kings, the Jaguars of UC.
SLU, which led halfway last year is at third spot with 213 points.
UC started its romp by finally taking the women’s basketball title, but only four teams joined this year, thus a low point reward for one of the most sought after titles in the league.
UC also won in wushu, sepak takraw, and women’s table tennis. The Jaguars are second in men’s basketball, men’s badminton, and men’s chess, while third in women’s badminton and women’s chess.
UC’s archery failed to deliver as they placed last in both divisions, behind third-ranked Philippine Military Academy.
It is, however, expected to rule baseball anew as games will continue at the Benguet State University until December 5.
SLU salvaged one gold this season as the women’s chess squad retained their title.
The BBEAL technical committee has yet to schedule games in swimming with the rehabilitation of the Baguio swimming pool’s completion last October 31.
“We are still trying to decide when we will schedule the swimming competitions which were delayed due to the improvements made on the pool. But then it will be soon,” said UB athletic director Alan Elegado.
UB hopes to continue their good start until next semester with more than half of the events to be played including volleyball.
Elegado wants to see an improved play for both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams despite having new coaches.
Former UB setter Cherry Atuban moves to the women’s side after a year stint with the men’s side now under another former UB setter Jomar Guansing.
Atuban led UB to four of the five titles of UB from 2013-2017, while Guansing won with the team in 2005, despite being the underdog.
Other events during the second semester starting in January are: taekwondo, judo, athletics, lawn tennis, football, arnis and boxing.
Despite the clamor to stage a 3-on-3 basketball, Commissioner Danilo Soria said the decision should have been made earlier.
He said there is a chance that it would be introduced next year.
The BBEAL is composed of UB, UC, SLU, PMA, Baguio College of Technology, Baguio Central University, Pines City College, and University of the Philippines – Baguio and the La Trinidad, Benguet schools of Cordillera Career Development College and BSU. (PNA)