Girl Power: Female trio named 77th UAAP Athletes of the Year

Mark Escarlote on Apr 11, 2015 07:17 PM
UAAP closing
Ian Lariba of De La Salle's table tennis team won the 77th UAAP Athlete of the Year honors with two more female student-athletes.

Three UAAP standouts who showed excellence not only in the 77th season of the country’s premier collegiate league but also in the international scene were feted on Saturday as co-Athletes of the Year.

Most Valuable Players from women’s chess, women’s swimming and women’s table tennis were given the award at the formal close of the season held at the UE Theater in Recto, Manila.   

Ateneo De Manila ace tanker Hannah Dato, Far Eastern University top woodpusher Janelle Mae Frayna and La Salle paddler Ian Lariba shared the highest individual honor of the season.

Currently the No. 1 player in the country, Lariba played for the Team UAAP-Philippines in the ASEAN University games in Palembang, Indonesia December of last year winning a bronze medal in the singles division and also starred in regaining the women's table tennis crown La Salle lost in Season 76.

The 20-year-old management and financial institution fourth year student said that the award was unexpected as she knows that competition for the honor is steep. 

“Actually oo (unexpected), kasi hindi rin sinabi sa akin. Parang pina-pass lang ako ng athlete of the year candidacy. Kanina nga sa stage medyo na-surprise din ako. Overwhelmed talaga,” said Lariba, who fell short of a win for a bronze medal in the 2013 Myanmar Southeast Asian Games but will try her luck once again in the Singapore edition on June.

Frayna, a WIM, led the Philippines in World Junior Chess Championships in Pune, India last October. She also rallied the Lady Tamaraws in winning the women's chess crown, ending the Lady Archers' four-year rule.

“Sobrang unexpected and honor para sa akin na makuha yung Athlete of the Year,” Frayna said.

Dato, who was not around to receive the award as she went to a competition in Australia, won three gold medals for Team UAAP-Philippines in the ASEAN University Games two months after leading the Lady Eagles to their second women's swimming championship.        

The league also honored the athlete-scholars who not only excelled in sports but also in academics namely Adamson's badminton player Mikaela Aquino, Ateneo's ace swimmer Axel Ngui, La Salle's table tennis stalwart Jerald Cristobal, FEU's volleyball libero Tin Agno, NU's basketball mainstay Kristine Abriam, UE's fencing skipper Nathaniel Perez, University of the Philippines' poomsae specialist Dustin Mella and UST's athletics standout Eloisa Luzon.        

Citations were also handed out to the league's athletes who competed in international tournaments during the 2014-15 season, as well as the MVPs and Rookies of the Year from 15 sports.              

Capping the ceremony is the turnover of UAAP hosting from UE to UP, with outgoing Season 77 president Carmelita Mateo handing the league flag to incoming Season 78 president Dr. Michael Tan.





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