Back-to-back Southeast Asian Games champion Jocelyn Ninobla looks forward to another great campaign in Cambodia if she makes it back to the national squad.
The 26-year-old Ninobla, who is no. 2 in the word rankings, said this a week before she goes through a selection process again, after winning two gold medals in the taekwondo event of 8th Philippine Sports Commission-Women’s Martial Arts Festival’s final day at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“Pinaghahandaan ko iyung selection next week, in preparation for next year’s SEA Games,” said Ninobla after she snared the gold medals in the individual poomsae finals for University of Santo Tomas and the team freestyle poomsae top honors for the national women’s team.
Ninobla, a recent sports management graduate, claimed a fourth gold medal for UST when she outscored La Salle bets Sofia Sarmiento and Mikee Regala with her average of 8.4 points off her two final performances.
She said that adding more power in her hand movements allowed her to earn more points, as she fended off the challenge of Sarmiento, who tallied 8.05, and Regala, who scored 8.05, at second and third places, respectively.
“I have only competed in two events this year after the lockdowns. So far, lahat ng nakaharap, magagaling din,” said Ninobla.
National teammates Janna Oliva and Faye Crisostomo showed more fluidity of movement when they snared the team freestyle gold medal with 7.16 points.
UST’s Jade Carino, Stella Yape and Aidaine Laxa took the silver with 6.23 points, with University of the Philippines’ Joana Jubelag, Keith Castillo and Caabay settling for the bronze with 5.67 points.
Ninobla is a consistent podium finisher in the SEA Games in its last three stagings, getting the individual golds in 2019 and 2022.
Ninobla and Crisostomo teamed up in the 2017 SEA Games for a team bronze medal, before Laxa joined her for a silver two years later.
Meanwhile, national team member Jubilee Briones ruled the lightweight division in kyorugi, with National University’s Jizyl Javier settling for the silver, and Lavaine Valeroso of the College of St. Benilde taking the bronze.
NU’s Aila Calip dominated the welterweight class, and San Beda’s Gabrielle Salomon won the middle-heavyweight gold.
Rudzma Abubakar and Islay Erika Bomogao ruled their respective events as members of the national team from Muay Thai.
Abubakar, a SEA Games bronze medalist, defeated fellow national team member Floryvic Montero of Team Bagsik, to clinch the gold medal in the 48kg category, while Bomogao proved herself superior over SEA Games’ waikru partner Rhichein Yosorez in the individual event.
Team Bagsik’s Mary Glyde Elizabeth Salazar (48kg), Allysa Kylie Mallari (60kg) and April Joy La Madrid (63.5kg) also dominated their weight classes
Romarah Derrica Cerezo (54kg) of Bootcamp Muaythai, Claire De Guzman (57kg) of PAF Veterans, Ronelyn Tondag (-45kg) of Malabonian Ninjas, and Baby Jane Buzon (45kg) of PAF Veterans completed the cast of gold-medal winners in muay.
In combat sambo, Mariane Mariano bested Jomary Torres to secure the under 54kg title, while Geli Bulaong claimed the under 59kg diadem at the expense of Charina Margallo.
Princess Cortez (under 54kg) and Aislinin Agnes Yap (under 80kg) were the top finishers in sambo after downing Amber Arcilla and Lea Loren Quimba, respectively.