ASHS is 16U 1st runner-up of Metro Handball Festival

September 26, 2017
Poch Gutierrez; Photos by Poch Gutierrez

After a one year hiatus from handball competitions, Ateneo Handball made its long awaited comeback in competitive handball via the Metro Handball Festival 2017 held in the Ateneo Grade School Covered Courts last September 16-17, 2017.

Officially recognized as an organization by Ateneo de Manila University this year, the boys of Loyola United Handball Club wasted no time in representing the Ateneo Senior High School. Both the 16U and 18U teams secured podium finishes in their respective divisions. Seventeen of the 20 participants are from the Senior High while three are from the Junior High School.

1st row kneeling from left: Migz Habaña, Patek Palomo, Ago Bugtong, Jai De Vera; Second row standing from left: Coach Jana Franquelli (Metro Handball Tournament Director), Coach Duane Alfaro, Thirdy Runas, Paul Kim, Jethro Paraso, Anton Alarcon, Kobe Salvador, Don Onia, Raphael Tanseco, Luz Minda (Metro Handball Tournament Official), Coach Poch Gutierrez

Leading the charge for the 16U squad were vets Jai De Vera, Migz Habaña, and Thirdy Runas. The team  quickly dismantled the competition in its first two games last September 16, manhandling Montessori Integrated School- Antipolo and La Salle College-Antipolo. Their third game would see them fall to the more experienced squad of College of San Benildo-Rizal A. They would eventually end their campaign on a strong note by defeating COSBR-B by quite a wide margin on September 17, 2017. Their 3-1 win-loss record was enough to secure them a 2nd place finish in the two day tournament.

On the other hand, the 18U team led by Ken Pasa, Juancho Henson, Andre Abangan and James Agpaoa aimed high to compete for a championship. Their first game saw them stun a College of San Benildo Rizal-A squad to a draw which had three-time MVP Wes Telan. Next, the squad was able to outperform La Salle College Antipolo , 16-8, despite the absence of captain Ken Pasa. In its deciding game against College of San Benildo-Rizal B, the Loyola squad fell short, 10-7, despite a last minute effort by Juancho Henson and Troi Balisi to narrow the lead. The 18U club finished with a 1-1-1 record enough to grant them another 2nd runner up finish.

1st row kneeling from left: Karl Adre, Matthew Aguasin, Troi Balisi, Gelo Mendoza; Standing from left: Coach Poch Gutierrez, Andre Abangan, Deward Gaborno, EJ Medalla, James Agpaoa, Coach Duane Alfaro; Not in picture: Juancho Henson and Ken Pasa
This marked the end of the Loyola United Handball Club representing Ateneo Senior High School in interschool handball competitions. The next competition, the Philippine Handball Federation Developmental League, will be participated by the Ateneo Handball Varsity team this October and November.