MANILA - They might as well be called "The Enders" for ending their opponents' chances in ever finishing first - be it in "koryugi" (sparring) or "poomsae" (forms).
Team Baguio "Defenders" headed by coach Arnold Oglayon, July 25, grabbed overall title in the 2010 Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) National Poomsae Championships at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium here.
Besting a pool of over a thousand jins from the country's 17 regions, the Defenders grabbed 22 golds, 11 silvers, and 15 bronzes in the annual tourney.
Cavite's "More than Medals" (MTM) finished second with an 11-9-15 gold-silver-bronze medal tally while Baguio - Ultimate Fitness Center - Art Haven (UFC-AH) is third with 7-14-15.
Poomsae in Taekwondo lingo means "forms". It is the equivalent of "kata" in Karate.
The Defenders' gold medal haulers in the individual events include boys' yellow belt division champions Rama Chandra Liporada (Grp. 1A); Symon Clyde Andaya (Grp. 1B); and Siriu Wallace Soriano (Grp. 2).
Following the younger jins' exploits were junior yellow belts John Jay Magalong (men) and Mycah Poyaoan (women). George Cabanlig stomped the senior men's yellow belt class.
The yellow streak was followed by the blazing blues with Jack Janggo Natividad easily bagging gold in group 2 boys and Karen Mae Dalit in group 2 girls.
Their older gym sisters followed their breezing win with Chloie Llanes topping the junior women's and Laurice Dulnuan the senior men's division.
The brown belts contributed most of the golds for team Baguio Defenders with Benjamin "Ching" Sembrano leading the way in the group 2 boys' division. His superb kicks and punches were replicated by Joshua Babate (junior men); Pauline Rillorta (junior women); and Mambi Fuchigami (senior men).
Trampling their opponents in the black belt division meantime were Justin Carl Nacua (boys below 10 years); Tristan Dale Cayago (boys 11-13 years); and Suzzane Glehn Caslangen (girls 11-13 years).
In group poomsae, Natividad, Joefel Galera and Karen Dalit virtually mirrored each others' moves to bag gold in the novice division.
Sembrano, Ivan Murray Solimen, and Krizelle Yadao meanwhile displayed grace under pressure topping the children's advance division.
In the children's black belt, Nacua teamed up with Kirby Bulwayan and Janus Ancheta to power the Defenders' golden haul to 21.
Fuchigami, Yvonnie Smith, Rillorta and Babate joined forces and sacked gold 22 in the senior open category.
In 2009, MTM which specializes in poomsae racked up 14 golds for the overall cup. UFC (11-golds) and the Defenders (10-golds) finished second and third, respectively.
Oglayon said, "With the huge population of Baguio-based jins, coaches decided to maintain Baguio's four teams to give new faces chance to compete and pave way for a 'Baguio vs. Baguio' scenario in the final stages of competition." The setup was allowed by PTA.
The tournament started with the freestyle synchronized poomsae with UFC bagging first gold in the children's division and MTM in the combined juniors-seniors bracket.
Jins' dad Pons Yadao recalled, "We were frustrated our two entries in the children's synchronized poomsae were not able to penetrate the winners' circle despite their superb performance marred only by CD malfunction."
Cloud began swelling atop the Defenders' nook when their combined junior-senior team ended second to MTM.
Luckily, Yadao said, "instead of getting affected by what seems to be debatable decisions in the synchronized events, our kids turned their pasting into positive energy."
"They had 'payback' written on their faces when the individual and group poomsae events started," he added.