Photos by: Paolo Abrihan
(H4C), Lorna Mauricio (Poveda), and Tam Tuazon (Poveda)
The majesty of Ultimate Frisbee is flight. As the disc cuts through the wind, it displays the perfect balance between grace and power. Those long throws that eventually scale the field’s length and land on the palms of a teammate in the endzone are the stuff of Frisbee lore. Now while those streaking throws are definitely spectacular, a fluid short-passing game and suffocating defense can be just as fun. In fact, even if an end-to-end goal throw can inspire awe, it is a team’s short game and defense that will win games.
The last two weekends have been quite hectic for the Xavier Ultimate (XU) Flying Plates Frisbee Team. They participated in the just-concluded Sunken Pleasures Frisbee Tournament held at the University of the Philippines UP Sunken Garden , a precursor to the Inter-High School League two weeks from now. Though this tournament was a relatively short one compared to the Frisbee season’s “main leagues”, XU still made it a point to take every game seriously.
SPO3 – Day One
Coming off a good showing in the Manila Spirits International Tournament, XU was upbeat going into Sunken Pleasures. Most of them were now experienced players who’ve been practicing regularly, and the improvements were evident right off the bat.
XU’s first assignment was one of the UP “home teams” – SPO3, a squad littered with experienced players. True to their youthful form, XU came out of the gates like a house on fire, ending the first half ahead at 5-2. SPO3, though, wouldn’t go down without a fight. They rattled off 6 goals in the second period to stay at XU’s heels. Xavier, however, would not be denied of the victory. They went on a 4 goal tear of their own anchored on Perkin Chai’s (’05) outstanding goal throwing and the crisp short game of Karen Choachuy ( ICA ’06), Ick Liao ( ICA ’06) and Kat Manas (Poveda ’07). In the end, the Ortigas-based team survived the SPO3 scare, 9-8.
K3 – Day One
Eager to extend their initial success, XU vaulted into the next match versus the Katipunan Killer Kleats (K3). Not unlike their first match, Xavier had another fiery start. Utilizing a balanced attack spearheaded by Agu Veloso (’07), Sam Go (H4D), Kaiser Sy (H4C), rookie Hocky Flores (H4G) and Perkin, the Flying Plates found themselves on the good end of a 5-2 spread at lemon time. It seemed like XU would be able to sustain their momentum in the next half, but the veteran K3 players had other things in mind.
K3 strung together 3 goals in a row to tie it all up at 5 apiece in the second half. XU staged a spurt of their own and managed to stay afloat via an 8-6 count with under 7 minutes left. Lady Luck would not smile on the Blue&Gold for that game though as K3 pulled themselves together and tied the game, 8-all within the next 5 minutes. In the last sequence XU’s inexperience showed and, after a dubious foul call, K3 scored the final goal to secure the nail-biting victory, 9-8.
A-Bomb – Day One
The day’s last match would pit XU’s young studs and the seasoned guns of the Alabang-based A-Bomb team. A consistent top-tier team, A-Bomb wanted to rout the Xaverians from the get-go, but Coach Simon Mendoza’s wards refused to be daunted. Constantly faced with a double-team “cup” defense, the Flying Plates hung tough and stayed close to their opponents all the way until the waning moments of the game.
With their “big brothers” from the Disc Devils team egging them on, XU played inspired all throughout. Despite losing 10-6, Xavier did not fail to impress their veteran counterparts because of sheer grit and passion. This game proved that XU can play well against any team out there.
With a 1-win and 2-loss card in Day 1, Xavier Ultimate was relegated to Pool B of the Sunken Pleasures Tournament.
Breakfast Club – Day Two
The Day 2 games would determine how far XU could go in their respective pool, and the first team that stood in their way was Breakfast Club (BC). A constant nemesis to the Flying Plates, the Blue&Gold have never tasted a victory versus BC, squandering big leads in their past efforts.
This day, however, would be different. Armed with fresh legs, XU ran rings around their foes using dizzying patterns to advance the disc efficiently. BC would find the going difficult all throughout, not able to penetrate the solid defense of Xavier. Propelled by the endzone connection of Mr. Simon Mendoza and Andrew Chan, the Flying Plates took a commanding 8-3 lead late in the game. Their attacks repeatedly thwarted, BC surrendered the final goal to peg the count at 9-3. It seemed that the Blue&Gold were poised for an outstanding day.
Monster – Day Two
Their penultimate game pitted XU opposite a determined team – Monster. Owing to their strong line-up, it seemed like Monster would not have much trouble against the young upstarts of Xavier, but the game turned out to be a classic.
The first half was a see-saw battle as each goal was followed by a quick reprisal from the other squad. Nevertheless, a 3-1 goal rush led by Andrew, Perkin, Agu and Sam in the dying minutes gave the Flying Plates the slimmest of leads at 6-5.
In the second period however, things began to unravel as Monster utilized their speed to mount a crippling assault, taking back the lead, 9-7, in the last 5 minutes. XU would eventually tie it all up through the terrific trio of Agu, Perkin and Andrew, but Monster would prove to be steadier in crunch time, nailing the Universal Point to notch the win, 10-9. In this test of mental toughness and composure, Xavier may have lost the match, but they were able to gain much needed experience.
Jogadores – Day Two
This game would decide the 3 rd placer in Pool B and finalize the teams’ over-all standing for the tournament. Squaring off versus a team they beat in the Manila Spirits League, the Flying Plates were upbeat about their chances to end the day on a bright note.
The first 20 minutes seemed like a repeat performance of the previous game as both teams traded goal throws on the way to a 3-3 tie with halftime beckoning. Hocky Flores though made his presence felt by catching a difficult pass and making a successful goal throw to Andrew, securing the lead at 4-3 by first half’s end.
In the last period of the day, neither team could get their game rolling until Jogadores tied it up at 4-all. Nonetheless, Perkin Chai (being one of the more senior players) summoned enough heart to anchor a 3-1 scoring binge, featuring 2 goal passes and 1 reception. Kudos goes to the heady defensive efforts of Ning Orlina (Poveda ’07), Tam Tuazon (Poveda ’07), Angel, and Lorna for preventing Jogadores from scoring any more goals in this crucial stretch. The final score stood at 7-5, with Xavier clinching 3 rd place in Pool B and 11th place over-all.
When the dust settled, Xavier Ultimate officially closed with a 3-win 3-loss slate. Not bad for a team formed roughly a year ago, and whose players possess barely 10 months of Frisbee experience under their belts. Derek Ramsey of the Tournament Champion Disc Devils (featuring several XS Alumni) actually remarked, “Watch out for Xavier Ultimate, they have what it takes to be in Pool A for the next tournament.”
Flight is majestic, and if Xavier’s performance indicates anything, it is that the Blue & Gold are indeed flying high and inspiring awe amongst everybody. With their brand of energy and determination, the Flying Plates will certainly reach higher in the stratosphere of Ultimate Frisbee.
The Xavier Ultimate Flying Plates are:
(Sunken Pleasures Line-up)
Perkin Chai (XS ’05)
Agu Veloso (XS ’06)
Andrew Chan (H4A)
Zeke Yap (H4A)
BJ Kua (H4B)
Kaiser Sy (H4C)
Sam Go (H4D)
Bam Santos (H4D)
Hocky Flores (H4G)
Dennis Tan (H4G)
Mr. Simon Mendoza (HS Soc. Sci.)
Karen Choachuy ( ICA ’06)
Ick Liao ( ICA ’06)
Kat Manas (Poveda ’07)
Ning Orlina (Poveda ’07)
Kai Ochosa (Poveda ’07)
Tam Tuazon (Poveda ’07)
Angel Yulo (Poveda ’08)
Lorna Mauricio (Poveda ’07)
Denise Mercado (Poveda ’07)
Karisse Gutierrez (Poveda ’07)
Mariel Arambulo (Poveda ’07)
Gretchen Gatan (Poveda ’07)
Ms. Meema Lozada (Poveda Moderator)
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