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Inside Photo BY Ryan Y. Racca Cover BY Arthur Tan

SPORTS EDITORS Margarita A. Contreras, AB Comm ‘14 Roman Carlo C. Mirasol, BS Mgt ‘14 WRITERS Robi R. Andres, Lorenzo C. Aycardo, Raizza P. Bello, Faith R. Decangchon, Gian Y. Go, Beatrice T. Go, Angelo F. Herbosa, Chino C. Razon, Noelle M. Recio

Victor Rafael M. Agbayani, AB Comm ‘14

PHOTOGRAPHERS Francine A. Bharwani, Alexis A. Casas, Frances L. Hu, Alexandra L. Huang, Christie K. Lim, Kat A. Mallillin, Lj V. Miranda, Ryan Y. Racca, Arthur J. Tan, Isabella L. Yatco


Arianna Y. Lim, AB Comm ‘14 ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Maria Janina B. de Leon, BS Mgt ‘14

COPY EDITOR Raizza P. Bello LAYOUT ARTIST Jan-Daniel S. Belmonte



Visit the redesigned sports site of The GUIDON:

Follow us on Twitter for real-time updates at @TheGUIDONSports

Photo BY LJ V. Miranda

Men’s Chess By Lorenzo C. Aycardo

THEY HAVE seen years of competition, but the Blue Woodpushers are still awaiting their first UAAP championship. Despite repeatedly falling short of the ultimate goal, the Ateneo men’s chess team remains steadfast in pursuing the title and putting an end to their championship drought. Last season was not a good year for the Woodpushers, once again finishing near the bottom of the standings at seventh place. Aside from their recent winning woes,

the squad has also had to endure the departure of former members Hanz Cheng, who recently graduated, and sophomores Lance Sese and Perry Ang, who were facing complications with their academics. These obstacles aside, the future looks bright for the Woodpushers. They will be led by international master (IM) Jem Garcia and fellow sophomore Jude Que, and they have been joined by JC Andan, Anfernee Bonifacio and Jayson Estores, a talented batch of fresh faces. The Woodpushers are also geared for a better finish this season under Coach Rudy Ibañez.

Garcia, who is only in his second playing year and the lone IM in the roster, will serve as the team’s leader as they attempt to progress as a unit. With numerous victories in various international competitions under his belt, the young veteran is more than capable of leading an eager squad straight into the heat of the competition. With all the critics doubting the team, the Blue Woodpushers have nothing to lose and everything to gain as they strive to establish themselves as serious contenders in Season 76.

Photo BY LJ V. Miranda

Women’s Chess By Lorenzo C. Aycardo

THE PRESSURE on the shoulders of the Lady Woodpushers to perform well and win this season of the UAAP is at an all-time high. Aiming to end a four-year drought of podium finishes, the team is out to prove that they can still compete with the best and bring the crown back to the Blue and White. Raising their hopes of taking home the championship is the veteran roster that the Lady Woodpushers

are fielding this season. Composed of seniors Dominique Layugan and Aissa Chua, partnered with juniors Gaby Ablang and Gabby Lopez, the ladies are equipped with experience and itching to win gold. The last time the Lady Woodpushers finished in the top three was back in Season 72, when the team was the first runner-up to Far Eastern University. It’s been too long since the team last tasted victory, and this fact is what’s pushing them even more to fight their way to the top.

The team is looking to seniors Layugan and Chua to lead the Lady Woodpushers as they face tough competition, the toughest being reigning three-time champion, De La Salle University. It may be a long and tough road to the top, but the Lady Woodpushers are primed to come out as champions once the battles begin. Banking on talent and experience, the Lady Woodpushers are all in for the gold.


Men’s Fencing By Beatrice T. Go

AFTER FALLING short of of a podium finish last season, the Ateneo Blue Fencers return more determined than ever to ascend to the highest rank. But securing the crown in UAAP Season 76 will not be easy for the Blue Fencers. The loss of double gold medalist and national team player Matthew “Mighty” Ignacio puts the team at a disadvantage in the individual events. Fortunately, the loss of Ignacio is balanced out by the fact that this

year’s roster is comprised mostly of veterans and returning players. Seniors Kevin Hao and Miguel Sarmiento will suit up in the sabre event, Junior Joao Celestino will compete in the épée event and sophomore Derich Cabrera will represent the Blue and White in the foil event. The presence of these seasoned players puts the team in a position to excel at team events. The Blue Fencers wasted no opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season; they trained twice a day everyday during the semestral break

in order to properly hone their crafts and remain at par with the rest of the competition. Defending champions University of the East remain the biggest threat to the squad, holding a monopoly of national team players that seek to dominate the individual events. But despite a highly competitive field, the squad is bent on achieving their goal. If the team’s preparations are any indication of what to expect in Season 76, the Blue Fencers are in for yet another thrilling campaign.


Women’s Fencing By Faith R. Decangchon

WITH LAST season’s top performers still in the roster for UAAP Season 76, the Lady Fencers will be facing the upcoming games with an even higher level of skill and competition. Sophomores Andrea Ignacio and Maria Hernandez, both vital to last season’s win in the foil and épée competitions, return to help the team break the consecutive fifth place finishes of the past two

seasons. Senior Elise Chanco, on the other hand, will lead the team as they face their toughest opponent, the University of the East Red Warriors, while attempting to secure their goal of emerging as the season’s overall champions. The team believes that they failed to advance in past competitions not because of their lack of skills but because of the lack of competition experience. A highly cerebral game, fencing requires effectively seizing moments in pressure-filled situations, a skill that can only be

mastered through experience. Now, with their participation in two international competitions prior to the start of Season 76, the team will be able to compete with much more confidence than before. Six out of the thirteen players are graduating seniors, meaning next year’s team will once again be facing the problem of lack of experience. With this in mind, all the players have been training as if this were their last chance to fence competitively, which pushes them to give their all this season.

Photos BY Ryan Y. Racca

Men’s Tennis By Faith R. Decangchon

GARNERING THE last spot in a competition may dishearten some teams, but there are others who are willing to see it as a driving force to do better the next time around. After going through a tough season last year, the Ateneo Blue Netters are definitely an example of the latter, approaching the new season with boosted morale and a renewed drive to finish at the top. Discipline and confidence are key factors that the team admit-

tedly lacked last season. Because of this, Coach Marty Ilagan focused this year’s training on building each player’s self-reliance and self-control, with the goal of instilling in them confidence and the drive to win. The squad’s training is starting to pay dividends as the team was able to make it as far as the quarterfinals in the Philippine University Games in October. This, along with prized new additions such as rookies Alfonso Opulencia, Antonio Punzalan, AJ Rivero and Ino Canlas, is a clear indication

that the Blue Netters are properly gearing up for the upcoming UAAP tennis tournament. Aside from the early momentum, the team is also stacked with athletes that are hungry for a championship. Graduating seniors, namely Mark Balce, Julius Lagman, Mark Trinos and team captain Andre Banate, are all set to make one last stand while donning the Blue and White. Each one of this veteran core is eager to lead the squad’s Season 76 campaign and grab hold of the gold they’ve been aiming for since their rookie season.

Photo BY Ryan Y. Racca

Women’s Tennis By Roman C. Mirasol

WITH ANOTHER season of UAAP tennis action on the horizon, there’s an aura of excitement surrounding the Ateneo Lady Netters. Last season’s fifth-place finish is long gone from the minds of the players as they approach this year’s tournament with a fresh outlook. Coach Jennifer Saret prepared her troops for the grueling season by implementing four weekly training sessions. Saret also shook

up their regular tennis workouts by adding cross-fit and Zumba to their regimen. Given the successful 2013 Philippine University Games performance that saw the squad clinch a spot in the finals before ultimately finishing second, Saret’s team is definitely off to a great start. The team, which is loaded with seasoned veterans, is looking to build on their early momentum as soon as the season begins. Spearheading the experienced squad’s Season 76 campaign are team captains Jessica

Lagman and Joanne Opulencia. Jana Exconde, Jodel Fernandez, Shannin Olivarez and Mary Rivero will also be donning the Blue and White once again this season, while new addition Khrizelle Sampaton will fill the gap created with the departure of Niquie Angelo. If the team remains dedicated to fine-tuning their game before the actual competition begins, then an already bright forecast for the Ateneo women’s tennis team becomes all the more promising.

Photos BY Ryan Y. Racca

Men’s Track and Field By Robi R. Andres

THE THEME of the Ateneo Blue Tracksters this year is redemption. Sliding from a third place finish in Season 74 to a sixth place finish in Season 75, the team is looking to finally stop the skid this season and earn a podium finish. The team is relying on the leadership of their two captains, seniors JB Capinpin and Micah Perez. Capinpin, who specializes in the triple jump and 100-meter dash, won a double bronze medal last year despite taking a year off from the sport the year prior.

Another Trackster who is looking to build upon last year’s success is sophomore Jethro Alba, who won a bronze medal in the 10,000-meter racewalk. The team will also be sporting five rookies in their lineup this year, three of whom are products of the Ateneo High School track and field program. They are long jump specialist Gab Vera Cruz, 400 -meter da sh, 400 -meter low hurdle and 110-meter high hurdler Mikee Ruiz and triple jump specialist Vinch Cuevas. Me a nwh i le , B a colo d- ba s e d sprinter Che Guevarra and walk-in thrower Faisal Tabusalla are two

other rookies looking to rake in medals this year. The recruits will try to compensate for the loss of key veterans such as javelin thrower Miguel Sibayan, shot put specialist Gerico Hizon, pole vaulter Gorby Pajaro and national record holder EJ Obiena, who all pulled out for various reasons. A new, twice-a-day training regime is perhaps the biggest change that the team has undergone this year. The new routine demands a great deal of dedication from the Blue Tracksters, and it’s contributed to their commitment to finally breaking into the top three—and perhaps even taking home the championship.

Photos BY Christie K. Lim

Women’s Track and Field By Beatrice T. Go

MONTHS BEFORE their UAAP season, the Ateneo Lady Tracksters were already reaping the rewards of their hard work. In the recently concluded University Games (Unigames) 2013, the team took home three medals. With this confidence booster, the players have been striving even harder to perfect their techniques before the Season 76 competition kicks off. With only 12 members, the Lady Tracksters’ roster will again be outnumbered by those of the other competing teams. This small number is further emphasized by the loss of

key player and double bronze pole vault player Cess Trinidad. However, this disadvantage will not stop the Lady Tracksters from attempting to achieve their goal of landing a podium finish. With the new blue oval completed earlier this year, the team’s training has been altered and greatly improved. Thanks to the decreased travel time, the Lady Tracksters can maximize its technical training. In previous years, the team had to train in the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City. This year’s prized recruits are freshmen Hannah Malate, Brittina Calete and Kayla Yao, who will all be donning the Blue and White for the first time this season. Malate

was a walker in high school but will be representing the Ateneo in the sprint events this season. Calete, on the other hand, will compete in the high jump event. Yao will continue to showcase her skills in the pole vault, having bagged a gold medal for this event in the Unigames. Veterans Chris Benedicto, Vanessa Bag uiwet and Team Captain Poly Villar are also expected to once again contribute significant points and medals. With high hopes of landing a podium finish this year, the Lady Tracksters will show other contenders the quality of their skills despite their meager number.

PhotoS BY Francine A. Bharwani, Alexis A . Casas & Christie K. lim

Men’s Volleyball By Gian Y. Go

THE ATENEO Men’s Volleyball team is looking to bounce back from last year’s sixth place finish by using their victory at the Uappy Cup—a preseason summer tournament considered to be a big part of the team’s preparation—as a springboard to greater heights in Season 76. After making it to the 2012 Philippine University Games’ quarterfinals round, the sqaud’s best finish at this competition yet, the Blue Spikers

had high expectations for last year’s UAAP tournament. Unfortunately, the team’s wins didn’t carry over into the UAAP, where the squad finished with a 3-11 win-loss record. This lackluster performance in the last UAAP season led to a revamp within the Blue Spikers’ camp. The squad tapped one-time Blue Spikers head coach Oliver Almadro to once again patrol the sidelines for the boys in blue. The move immediately paid dividends, resulting in the Blue Spikers’s championship finish at the Uappy Cup.

Four Blue Spikers also garnered individual awards at the Uappy Cup: Ricci Gonzales secured the Most Valuable Player plum while Rex Intal, Ishmel Polvorosa and team captain JP Pareja took home the best blocker, best server and best digger awards, respectively. Eager to erase last year’s disappointment, the Ateneo Blue Spikers are more determined than ever to make some noise in the men’s volleyball tournament and prove that their preseason title was no f luke.

PhotoS BY Arthur Tan

Women’s Volleyball By Chino C. Razon

SYSTEM OVERHAUL—the Ateneo Lady Spikers enter Season 76 with a different perspective. For the first time in five years, the squad will miss the veteran presence that Jem Ferrer, Gretchen Ho, Angeline Gervacio, Fille Cainglet and Aillysse Nacachi brought to the court. With the “Fab Five” no longer donning the Blue and White, the responsibility of leading a rebuilding team falls in the hands of standout Alyssa Valdez. Aside from the roster turnover, another familiar face will no longer be patrolling the sidelines for the

Ateneo. Roger Gorayeb, who was responsible for mentoring the team into back-to-back Finals appearances in the past two seasons, has stepped down from the head coach position. Assuming Gorayeb’s post at the helm will be Thai coach Anusorn Bundit. Despite the sudden change, Valdez is confident that the team’s performance will not be compromised and that progress has not reverted to zero. Apart from Valdez, numerous other veterans are also returning, each one capable of making some noise in this year’s tournament. Fourth year player Den Lazaro will continue to serve as the team’s keen

libero while fellow senior Ella De Jesus will continue to provide the energy and excitement that fans adore. The trio of Amy Ahomiro, Aerieal Patnongon and Mae Tajima also arms the squad with a towering line of defense. The recent spike in the sport’s popularity combined with the high level of preparation from the rest of the competition guarantees another thrilling volleyball tournament. “This will be an exciting season and I think people will love the sport more,” muses Valdez, who looks forward to spearheading a young squad hungry to prove themselves.

PhotoS BY Alexis A. Casas & Isabella L. Yatco

Women’s Football By Raizza P. Bello

FALLING SHORT of a one-game win during the semifinals of last year’s UAAP season, the Ateneo Lady Booters are now set on conquering the playing arena with improved strategies, practiced adjustments and better team communication. In Season 75, the Lady Booters were able to successfully sweep round one. But the team then faced some setbacks, including losing one player before the second round started and losing momentum during the round itself. These factors interfered

with the team’s race to the championship title, ultimately landing them in third place. This season, however, the team is focused on developing both their strengths and weaknesses. This involves maximizing player rotation and improving their offense in order to achieve consistency on the field. As part of their preparations for the upcoming season, the Lady Booters joined the Philippine National Games last June and the Pinay Futbol League from July to September. They claimed the championship and the third place, respectively.

When asked how she views the team coming into the season, Team Captain Angelica Tiu shares, “In this sport, it really boils down to heart and who wants it more. The challenge is really not the other teams but [the challenge is for] ourselves. All the teams have been practicing and preparing as much as we have, so we have to really step up if we want to win.” Once the underdogs, the Lady Booters are now considered a top contender for the Season 76 Women’s Football Championship as they go against top opponents Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines and De La Salle University.

PhotoS BY Ryan Y. Racca

Softball By Noelle M. Recio

NEW YEAR, new season, new game. The Ateneo Lady Batters are more than prepared to leave last season’s disappointing sixth place finish in the past. Although the Lady Batters are aware that the competition will only get tougher, they have calmly and confidently carried out the necessary changes that they believe will jumpstart their ascent to the top. Among these changes is the return

of long-time coach Uly Mejia, who, despite having been with the team for five years, was absent in last year’s campaign as he took on a coaching job overseas. This year’s captains, supersenior Bada la O’ and senior Cheska Altomonte, have also made sure that the team is more close-knit this year. They believe that good chemistry is a key to unlocking their full potential. La O’ and Altomonte are not the only veterans the team will be heavily relying on in the upcoming season. Seniors Mady Lhuillier and

Sarah Uy are expected to support their captains with performances that are equally strong. The team also sees the addition of rookie Ira Navelga as one of the key improvements from last season. Above all, it is the maturity and the experience that the team is bringing into this season that proves that the future is bright for the Lady Batters. Altomonte says, “It’s the process and preparation that will lead us to winning. We have to play smart, rather than rely purely on skill.”

BUILDING A formidable team, contending for the title and ultimately clinching the championship is a difficult yet probable feat to accomplish. Securing back-to-back titles, however, is a much different ball game. The first half of the 76th season of the UAAP saw only one out of the three reigning Ateneo championship teams successfully defend their crown. The Lady Shuttlers concluded the first semester with a back-to-back gold finish. The Blue Tankers on the other hand, dropped two spots to third. Finally, the Blue Eagles were not successful in their search for their sixth consecutive crown. This only proves how difficult it is to reach the ultimate prize, more so winning consecutive titles. This semester, two teams are ready to take the tough road towards defending their championship titles. The Blue Batters and the Blue Booters are ready to secure their spot at the pinnacle of their respective sports, and every team that wishes to claim their throne will have to go through them first.

Men’s Football By Angelo F. Herbosa

IN WHAT was one of the biggest surprises of Season 75, the Ateneo Blue Booters captured the UAAP Men’s Football crown, dethroning University of the Philippines by way of a penalty shootout in Game 2 of a tightly contested championship series.

Defending the title is the squad’s main goal this season. Certain obstacles, however, stand in the team’s quest to duplicate last year’s success. The most glaring among them is finding replacements for key losses such as right winger Valentino Calvo, central midfielder Eric Figueroa and Season 75 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Nick O’Donnell.

Head Coach JP Merida acted quickly, filling the gaps with freshmen JP Oracion and Justin Park, who play goalkeeper and central midfielder, respectively. According to star midfielder Mikko Mabanag, it’s finding a new winger that has proven the most challenging. Former De La Salle Zobel winger Emilio Acosta is a potential solution for that position but is yet to be released by his alma mater.

Photo BY Arthur Tan

Despite the departures of key players, the team’s core remains pretty much intact. Team Captain Yu Murayama will be playing his final year of eligibility keeping goal. Jico Noel and Kokoy Marcelino will remain at the heart of the defense. Mabanag, Emman Paredes and the returning Mico Clavano will man the midfield and Jacobo Lorenzo will lead the attack.

In terms of approaching the new season, the team refuses to be cocky. “We’re coming from a championship year but that was the past,” says Mabanag. “It’s a whole different ball game again.” “We still look at ourselves as underdogs,” Mabanag adds. “We like it [because] it keeps us grounded and humble.” In fact, their underdog status contributed largely to

their championship run last season, something they aim to replicate in Season 76. If the Blue Booters play with as much hunger and heart as they did last season, the team will be more than ready to take on this year’s challenge of defending their crown.

Baseball By Noelle M. Recio

THE BLUE Batters’ goal of finishing this season at the top is easier said than done. To replicate last season’s glorious run that concluded in a historic championship title win, the team has to work harder than ever. The Blue Batters will have to win it all this year without the services of power pitcher Miguel

Salud. Salud, who was last season’s Rookie of the Year and MVP, has decided to pursue his education abroad. Former third baseman Justin Mathay has left the team to study abroad as well. The Blue Batters will also be without former team captains Gab Bagamasbad, who has maxed out his five playing years, and Bocc Bernardo, who now sits as an assistant coach for the team. Bag-

amasbad was best known as a solid outfielder while Bernardo was one of the team’s best sluggers. Despite these losses, veteran Adriane Bernardo still believes that the Blue Batters are ready and capable of defending their championship. He says, “The team wants it more this year. We are ready to defend the title.” “We are still strong, despite the loss of key players. Everyone is

Photo BY Isabella L. Yatco

in the same mind set on winning another title,” he adds. This year’s campaign will be led by team captains Kevin Ramos and Pelos Remollo. Seniors Andy Tan, Matt Laurel and Bernardo are also expected to contribute significantly. The team has also secured prized rookies, including pitchers Miguel Dumlao and Nacho Cojuangco. Dumlao was the starting pitcher of

last season’s Juniors’ division champions, Ateneo High School. Also joining this year’s rookie class are Enzo Orbeta and Franklin Stewart. Orbeta is an experienced catcher while Stewart plays first base. Both rookies are also dependable outfielders. Aside from their new recruits, returning players Chip Esguerra and Johnny Altomonte, who both missed last year’s championship

run, are more than ready to set foot on the field again and help the team win two in a row. It seems like the Blue Batters are a team built for success. Though the goal to become back-to-back champions is easier said than done, their determination and humility will ultimately be the key to the team’s victory. In Bernardo’s words, “It is our goal to defend the title, keep our feet on the ground and keep winning.”

Team Rosters Baseball

Men’s Football

Men’s Track & Field




Men’s Chess GARCIA, Jem QUE, Jude ESTORES, Jayson ANDAN, JC BONIFACIO, Anfernee

Men’s Fencing HAO, Kevin SARMIENTO, Miguel INGENTE, Kelvin CELESTINO, Joao TAN, CJ GALIT, Spencer CABRERA, Derich JOSEPH, Morgan

Men’s Tennis BALCE, Mark BANATE, Andre CANLAS, Ino BILOG, Gregorio IV EXCONDE, Johann LAGMAN, Julius OPULENCIA, Alfonso PUNZALAN, Rafael RIVERO, AJ TRINOS, Mark

Men’s Volleyball APELAR, Jeriel BAYSA, Karl BELLO IV, Jeb DELA CRUZ, Jarvis ESPEJO, Marck FLORES, Neil GONZALES, Ricci INTAL, Rex MARASIGAN, Ysay MORGA, Mark PAREJA, John Paul POLVOROSA, Esmilzo SANTOS, Karlo SENOREN, Xavier VILLANUEVA, Joshua


Women’s Football

Women’s Track & Field


ABRAHAM, Frankie AMONCIO, Nona ANTONIO, Noelle CADAYONA, Maan CATEDRILLA, Mia CRUZ, Leah DAYRIT, Camille DAYRIT, Cecilia JIMENEZ, Kimberlee MARTIN, Aina MATALAM, Jasmine NAGUIAT, Paulina RODRIGUEZ, Camille ROMERO, Milka SABIO, Isabelle SUCGANG, Julia TIU, Angelica VELOSO, Maica

BAGUIWET, Vanessa BENEDICTO, Chris CANETE, Brittina DAYRIT, Cecille MALATE, Hannah MARTELINO, Georgia OLIVEROS, Jewelyn REBANCOS, Arianna SEVERINO, Patricia VILLAR, Polly YAO, Kayla YU, Melissa

Women’s Chess LAYUGAN, Dominique CHUA, Aissa ABLANG, Gaby LOPEZ, Gabby

Women’s Fencing CASTILLO, Precious CHANCO, Elise DE CASTRO, Nikki FEDERICO, Joy HERNANDEZ, Mary Rose HUIBONHUA, Eugenie IGNACIO, Andie JOSEPH, Justine LICUP, Kim LIM, Acdea LIM, Izza SIMON, Ara UYAN, Audrey

Women’s Tennis EXCONDE, Jana FERNANDEZ, Jodel LAGMAN, Jessica OLIVAREZ, Shannin OPULENCIA, Joanne RIVERO, Mary SAMPATON, Khrizelle TUASON, Darlene

Women’s Volleyball AHOMIRO, Amy BAGATSING, Ramona DE JESUS, Ella FAUSTINO, Natasha GEQUILLANA, Kim GOPICO, Ana LAVITORIA, Jamie LAZARO, Dennise MORADO, Julia MORENTE, Michelle PATNONGON, Aerieal TAN, Bea TAN, Gizelle TAJIMA, Mae TEJADA, Margarita VALDEZ Alyssa

A Song for Mary We stand on a hill between the earth and sky. Now all is still where Loyola’s colors fly. Our course is run and the setting sun ends Ateneo’s day. Eyes are dry at the last goodbye; This is the Ateneo way. Mary for you! For your white and blue! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you! Down from the hill, down to the world go I; Rememb’ring still, how the bright Blue Eagles fly. Through joys and tears, through the laughing years, We sing our battle song: Win or lose, it’s the school we choose; This is the place where we belong! Mary for you! For your white and blue! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, constantly true! We pray you’ll keep us, Mary, faithful to you!

The GUIDON UAAP S76 Primer  
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