Benilde Ultimate wins first runner up in Mekeni cup

Benilde Ultimate wins first runner up in Mekeni cup

The College’s official frisbee team, Benilde Ultimate, bagged first runner up in the second NLEX SCTEX – Clark Mekeni Cup, beating eight teams in a two-day tournament last December 2 to 3 at the Clark Freeport Zone’s CDC Parade Grounds in Pampanga.

The team was off to a hot start on the first day of the tournament by winning four of their five single round robin games to qualify for the tournament’s playoff bracket the following day. Spearheaded by captain Christian de Vera, along with veterans Paloy Andaya, Ishma Espinosa, and Collete Dimayuga, they team steamrolled through the qualifying rounds with only one loss.

However, the Taft squad’s efforts were not enough to dethrone the tournament’s Pool A defending champions, the Tandang Sora Pleasure, a team based in Tandang Sora and is composed of players hailing from other parts of Manila, as they succumbed to a final score of 11-10.

When asked on how they viewed the defending champions, Espinosa explained, “Isa sila sa mga malakas na team. Malakas sila kasi alam nila kung paano mag-compromise kahit in-game, hindi nawawala ang focus, kumbaga. Isa sila sa mga kinakatakutan na team na makatapat sa laro.”

Meanwhile, Benilde Ultimate coach Peng Manlapaz emphasized how the Mekeni Cup was a chance for the Taft team to improve themselves.

“Benilde Ultimate, because of the immense support of CSB, is in the cusp of Collegiate Ultimate greatness. The Mekeni Cup only gave this talented team more experience to do better against other Collegiate teams. We just need to keep our heads level and not fall too much on the reliance on talent,” he said in an interview.

Manlapaz also encouraged Benildeans to try out for the team, especially female players to replace those who have graduated.

The Mekeni cup follows a snake system format, round robin format within the respective pools. The top eight teams advance to a quarterfinal round and all the losing teams are regulated to Pool B.

Benilde Ultimate ended their stint with a 6-2 win-loss record.

Now in its second season, the two-day tournament featured teams that are not limited to teams that represent certain schools, but also all aspiring and professional teams all over the country. This tournament is one of the many Ultimate frisbee tournaments being held throughout the year and it serves as one of the training grounds for Benilde as they prepare for the largest annual ultimate frisbee collegiate competition in the country, the National Ultimate Collegiate Championship in June 2018.

The Mekeni Cup 2017 is hosted by Ultimate Liga Pilipinas Incorporation, in collaboration with SMART Communications, NLEX-SCTEX, Metro Pacific tollways, and Greater Clark Visitors Bureau, a non-profit, non-stock organization and tourism body in Pampanga.

Catch Benilde Ultimate in their next match at the New Year’s Cup tournament this January 2018.

Photos by Kel Santos, Rigel Estabaya, and Patricia Oliveros


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