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UAAP-PH finish fifth in ASEAN University Games; Dato gets two more medals on final day

By Dugout Philippines
Team UAAP-Philippines Hannah Dato (with the games’ mascot)
is the country's best performer in the ASEAN University Games.

Team University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP)-Philippines closed out its campaign with a silver and two bronze medals in swimming on Sunday and cap a remarkable performance that saw the country finish in fifth place in the Asean University Games Indonesia hosted in Palembang.

Ateneo’s Hannah Dato settled for second in the women’s 100 meters freestyle to add to her personal collection that includes three gold and another silver and a bronze, helping Team UAAP-Philippines post its best finish in the biennial meet among student athletes in the region.

Dato, the UAAP women’s swimming MVP, clocked 58.06 to finish behind Malaysia's Chui Lai Kwan (57.97) and ahead of Thailand's Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn (58.12).

The Lady Eagle sensation also clinched bronze in the women's 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:22.62. Malaysia's Cai Lin clinched the gold with 2:18.88, followed by Raina S. Grahana of Indonesia with a silver medal time of 2:19.54

"I wasn't really expecting it," Dato said.

Another Ateneo standout, London Olympian Jessie Khing Lacuna, bagged the bronze medal in the lung-busting men's 1,500-meter freestyle with a time of 16:47.15.

Malaysia finished 1-2 with Kevin Soon Choy Yeap clinching the gold with 15:53.67 and Vernon Lee Jeau Zhi bagging the silver with 16:14.79

The Philippines scooped four gold, three silver and nine bronze medals in swimming, had a 4-4-4 tally in taekwondo, went 2-1-3 in athletics and earned a silver in diving and a bronze in women’s volleyball for a total haul of 10 gold, 11 silver and 22 bronze medals in the regional meet that started last December 9.

Host Indonesia (64-77-45) emerged as overall champion, followed by Thailand (52-34-23), Malaysia (38-39-49) and Vietnam (24-14-2).

It was the best campaign by a UAAP team since the 2008 edition in Kuala Lumpur, when the country went home with eight golds, 12 silvers and 21 bronzes to also wind up in sixth spot.