Blue Eagle Marvin Gabriel snags a silver in UAAP poomsae

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Blue Eagle Marvin Gabriel bagged a silver medal in the Men’s Individual Poomsae event on the opening day of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 Taekwondo tournament on Tuesday, November 14 at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.

Poomsae, a staple in the UAAP Taekwondo tournament since Season 76, consists of defined patterns of offensive and defensive motions called forms.

The Men’s Individual Poomsae event consisted of two rounds: The semifinal round and the final round. Each participant would showcase their form in the semifinal round, and the top three scorers would then advance to the final round where they would perform again to determine the final rankings.

In the semifinal round, Gabriel was able to garner a score of 8.03 for his Koryo form and 8.07 for his Taeguk 6 form. With an average score of 8.05, he finished second to book a slot in the final round. The Blue Eagle improved in the final round, scoring 8.24 and 8.30 respectively for his Koryo and Taeguk 6 form, but his 8.27 average score was only good for second as the eventual champion, Rodolfo Reyes, Jr. from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), amassed a whopping average score of 8.435.

In the other events, Lady Eagle Bea Bautista accumulated a score of 7.6 for her Taeguk 6 form and 7.46 for her Taebek form for an average score of 7.53, placing fifth in the Women’s Individual event. For the Mixed Pair event, the Blue and White duo of Justin Mendoza and Patricia Abalos scored 7.87 for their Koryo form and 7.47 for their Keumgang form, which gave them an average score of 7.67 that saw them place sixth.

The trio of Abalos, Bautista, and Ana Macalinao comprised the team that competed in the Women’s Team event. They were able to amass scores of 7.87 and 7.60 for their Taeguk 6 and Keumgang forms respectively, receiving an average score of 7.735 which ranked them at fifth. In the Men’s Team Poomsae, the trio of Gabriel, Mendoza, and Tristan De Vera also finished at fifth place with scores of 7.97 and 7.87 for their Taeguk 8 and Taeguk 6 forms, respectively, that gave them an average score of 7.92.

After the event, Gabriel talked about the unmet expectations he had and his thoughts on winning the silver. “I’m happy with the win, but coming into this tournament, I really aimed for gold. It's a tough game, and the jin from UST is already peaking, so kudos to him. I think he deserved it, and I think I deserved the silver,” he shared.

He also talked about how hard work played in his win. “I really train hard everyday from 5:30 to 8:00 AM because without this hard work, I wouldn't get anywhere,” he added.

As for the overall team performance, Ateneo Poomsae Coach Roel Borjal, Jr. remained proud of how his team fought against seasoned competition. “They gave their best, and I believe in them. I think they just need more confidence as most of their opponents are members of the national team. For sure, [they can improve their performance]. I'm very optimistic about it,” Borjal said.

The Blue and Lady Eagles will continue to grind it out tomorrow in the Kyorugi events. The Blue Eagles are hoping to finally bag a podium finish while the Lady Eagles are looking to repeat their stellar second runner-up finish from last season. Day 2 of the tournament will be tomorrow, November 15, 7:30 AM at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.

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