AHS Debaters are Singapore Debate Open runners-up

January 04, 2016
By: 
AHS Debaters

(L-R) Luigi Alcañeses and Hans Gonzalez are the first all-Filipino team to make it to the SDO finals

Ateneo de Manila High School debaters  Luigi Alcaneses (11-A) and Hans Gonzalez (10-M) of AHS Team A ended as runners-up in the grand finals of the Singapore Debate Open (SDO) Pre-University category last December 20, 2015. They lost to the Debate Development Institute of Singapore on the motion, “This house, as a major religious leader, would propagate and preach a doctrine that allows atheists to enter Heaven.” Ateneo A was the first all-Filipino team to make it this far in SDO’s tournament history. They were the only Filipino team in the final, and went against one team from Malaysia, and two teams from Singapore.
 
Luigi and Hans, however, proudly held the distinction of being the youngest team in the final. Their opponents were either high school graduates serving in the military, or in their first year of college studies. Chief Adjudicator Ashish Kumar from Cambridge University—himself the reigning Best Speaker in the World at the University Level and a former World Champion in High School—lauded Ateneo A as a very impressive team. More importantly, he lauded Ateneo High School as a “…strong institution” in debating.
 
Ateneo B, comprised of Nicky Solis (11-B) & Ervin Grana (11-L), reached the semifinals of the Pre-U category, thereby making their team the first all-Filipino high school team to reach this far in SDO alongside Ateneo A.
 
Completing the contingent were other Ateneo Debaters and alumni: Ateneo C with Paulo Valencia (11-N) & Mon Asuncion (G 2015), Ateneo D with Lorenzo Lazaro (11-A) & Sam Zabat (10-G), and Ateneo E with Clyde Maramba (4M 2012) & Matti Tan (9-A).
 
Among the most prestigious tournaments in the world, the SDO was hosted by Yale-NUS from December 18-20, 2015. The tournament is open to debaters of all ages and backgrounds. Asians, Europeans, Australians, Americans, and South Africans all gathered to compete in SDO 2015. Debaters and adjudicators as young as high school students, and as experienced as working professionals, attended the event. This year, there were close to 250 participants.
 
The team was accompanied by Henry Fernando, who competed and broke as an adjudicator in the competition, and Mrs. Hannah Bautista-Gonzalez.
 
The team’s moderator is Mrs. Fe U. De Jesus of the English Department, while its coaches for the SDO were Mahar Mangahas, Miguel Ventura, Isaac Lee, and Rafa Lapira.