Trident Ultimate Battle Grounds 2017 Recap

Six months of preparation, all for one goal – to foster a stronger single gender Ultimate scene in the Philippines. Spearheaded by Dada Libo-on of Trident Active Lifestyle, and Jaz Favor of Negros Flying Disc Association, the second Trident Ultimate Battle Grounds was held on the hot weekend of March 25-26 at the RUSI and Silliman ballfields in Dumaguete City.

Eight teams in the women’s division, and ten teams in the open division from different parts of Visayas and Mindanao came prepared for battle. Participating teams were Amazons, Lumad, Maria, Negra, Cleats and Cleavage, Boholanas, UBG, and Eba in the women’s division; and Negro, Ninos, Trident, Subano, Boholanos, Iliganons, RUSI, Bagani, Ilonggos, and Adan in the open division.

By the end of the weekend, the Amazons of Iligan sealed a two-peat victory while the lokals of Negro marked their territory against the Iliganons in what will go down in history as one of the wildest finals matches of 2017. The Amazons relished a 4-point lead over Maria as they won the championship game, 11-7. From the first point up to the mid of the game, it was an exhibition of how closely matched up both women’s teams were. After the 7-7 tie, however, April Adalim, Len Piquero, Ruru Fernandez, and the rest of the Amazons showed the Marias of Iloilo and Manila that they weren’t to relinquish the championship trophy – not that easy and not at all.

In the open finals, on the other hand, it was a slow start for Negro as they tried to catch up to Iliganons’ 3-point lead. They did successfully chase the lead and sealed a 3-3 tie when Tajji threw a mighty huck to Alex. However, Negro reached another plateau as they got stuck at 5 points while Iliganons enjoyed a second 3-point lead. And for yet another time, the lokals showed no sign of embracing defeat and intensely chased up that lead to another tie at 8-8. From this point on, it was a wild exchange of strong O’s and D’s until the score came to 14-13 in favor of the young talents from Iligan comprised of up-and-coming stars like Binoi Dacumos, Wilbor Ogik and Marvin Igdon. At this point, the cheering of the Negras and the Amazons for their male counterparts and the roars of the crowd could only get louder and louder. The Iliganons were down to their last point but there was no room for complacence, especially when Josuel Macarine scored to seal the last tie of the game at 14-14. Fighting for the universe point, Negro started on D and a good defense they did to enforce a turnover and eventually clinch that much-coveted championship.

What followed that nail-biting championship game was a quick awarding at the venue and then an after-party at Café Racer. At this point, you would expect the organizers to be relaxing and enjoying the fruits of half a year’s preparation but not Dada nor Jaz. You could actually see both of them going around, still overseeing things, hopping from one table to another to mingle with the UBG2017 participants and ensure that everyone was having a great time.

Six months of preparation was rewarded with an unforgettable finals match, satisfied participants, and a successful event in general, but all of those weren’t without challenges. As with any tournament, there were a few roadblocks along the way – coming up with the most affordable and value-for-money registration fee, invitations to teams getting declined because of financial challenges, and teams backing out of the lineup. It definitely was not easy but as with every other player who stepped foot on the battle grounds of Silliman and RUSI, they rallied on. They battled it out because of their aspirations for single gender tournaments in the country. Outside of UBG, Jaz wishes for the sustenance of Ultimate in the Visayas region through clinics and promotions, especially in areas where the number of players are winding down such as in Ormoc and Maasin, Leyte. On the other hand, Dada would like to encourage the PFDA community to choose tournaments of their preferred level of competition and to equip themselves with adequate preparation, especially with the right mindset as it is this way that such tournaments are sustained; it is this way that the community grows and flourishes.

Written by: Jansie Santos