CEBUANA jins Rinna Babanto and Aidaine Laxa yet again proved that they are among of the country’s best after another successful national tournament.
Babanto, a former world champion, and Laxa won a gold medal each in the MVP Best of the Best Taekwondo Championship at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.
Babanto partnered with Patrick Perez for a gold medal finish in the Mixed Pair Poomsae event.
Laxa teamed up with fellow University of Sto. Tomas jins Jade Carno and Aljana Erece for the gold medal in the Team Poomsae event.
Babanto also finished with a silver medal in the individual event in a close contest against Asian Games teammate Jocel Lyn Ninobla, while Laxa ended with a bronze medal.
“It was a very close fight. Jocel (Lyn Ninobla) was just up by .02 points,” the 2018 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) MVP Babanto told SunStar Cebu.
Ninobla, Babanto and Laxa are teammates in the gold-medal winning team in the recent Korea Open.
Babanto and Laxa are also competing in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here in the Philippines, which is set on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Babanto was already a lock for a spot in the national team, being one of the best jins in the country. Laxa, on the other hand, earned her spot with her recent success.
“When Aidaine (Laxa) transferred to UST under an athletic scholarship at the tender age of 16 last year, cracking the SEA Games line-up was just an aspiration. Just that, an aspiration. But she matured in skills in such a short period of time while having a breakout year this year. This is so overwhelming for her and her family, who unlike other normal parents, did not get to enjoy the daily presence of their senior high school daughter. It’s a tribute to her discipline and dedication to her craft,” Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) 7 chairman Tony del Prado said.
Another Cebuana seeing action in the SEA Games is Korea Open silver medalist Nica Garces, who’ll be competing in the Kyorygi event. (EKA)