CEBU’S Strive CCA proved that they can stand out in a huge Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) tournament after bringing home seven medals despite fielding only three jiujiteiro.
The trio of Lemuel Maglinte, Sebastian Villamor and Eric Los Banos bagged a total of three gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in twin Southeast Asian Jiujitsu Open and Jaeger Cup events on Jan. 13 and 14, 2023 at the Makati Circuit Mall in Makati City.
“We are just happy to represent Cebu. We were the only Cebuanos who competed, and it was a nice experience being able to test our skills against some elite local and international grapplers,” Strive CCA head coach Maglinte told SunStar Cebu.
Maglinte, a former sportswriter, moved up in weight to compete in a heavier weight division. From his normal 67-kilogram weight division, he competed in the 82-kilogram Gi event, wherein he nabbed a gold medal after beating John Cristopher Pacis, 11-0, via supremacy. Maglinte won his second gold medal by winning the Purple Belt Open Weight No-Gi event.
Maglinte also competed in the 79-kilogram No-Gi category and got to compete against eventual winner and former ONE lightweight champion Honorio Banario. He finished the event with a bronze medal.
Villamor, on the other hand, had a gold medal handed to him after a no-show by his opponent in the 82-kilogram No-Gi event. He also snagged silver medals in the Open Weight category of the No-Gi and Gi events.
In the meantime, Los Banos won a silver medal in the 79-kilogram No-Gi competition.
“I love the progress of my team, we are a small team here in Cebu but I’m happy that I’ve produced quality competitors,” said Maglinte. “I’m expecting not only growth in numbers but also more quality competitors from my team. Right now, I’m just lucky to have good students inside and outside the dojo.”
Maglinte started Strive CCA on his return from the US in 2021.
Strive CCA is under the Las Vegas-based Jiu-jitsu methods of BJJ world champion Professor Rene Lopez.