MANILA -- De La Salle University banked on its solid plays to end a nine-year title drought and zap University of Santo Tomas in the 73rd University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s taekwondo.

The season host preyed on the injury-stricken Tigers on Saturday, who lost finweight Karl Espiritu due to dislocated elbow and flyweight Nicole Mapilisan on an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Lightweight Xavier Philippe Stepanek delivered the elimination sweep and championship trophy for La Salle when he escaped the gritty challenge of UST’s Dane Pio de Roda in a controversial 7-6 win. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)