Chess sensation, women’s hoops star hailed as UAAP Athletes of the Year

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MANILA -- La Salle’s chess sensation Jan Jodilyn Fronda and Far Eastern University women’s basketball star Camille Sambile shared the Athlete of the Year honors of UAAP Season 76.


Fronda and Sambile were not only the best in their respective sports in the league, but they also sparkled in competitions abroad for the Philippines.

The two ladies were feted at the season 76 closing ceremonies at Century Park Hotel in Manila Wednesday (March 19) night.

The 20-year-old Fronda finished 28th in the 2013 World Junior Chess Championship in Kocaeli, Turkey, and played in the ASEAN Age-Group championship in Thailand last year before leading La Salle to a “four-peat’ in chess championship and bagging her third straight MVP award.

“I’m so happy. I wasn’t expecting this, because almost every year the Athletes of the Year come from the popular sports. I’m happy to be able to get the chance to represent chess,” Fronda told reporters.

Although the Lady Tamaraws failed to defend their women’s basketball crown, Sambile dominated the competition en route to her first MVP award.

Sambile was also one of the national team mainstays who helped the country clinch the silver medal in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball tournament in Myanmar.

“I really wasn’t expecting this. I found out today, so I was shocked. Even in my previous awards, I wasn’t expecting those. So I was really shocked,” said the soft-spoken Sambile.

University of the East’s younger fencer Divine Romero, who also saw action in last year’s Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, shared the limelight by winning the juniors’ AoY plum.

The Green Archers also hogged the spotlight for bagging the overall crown in the seniors’ division for the second straight season.

The UAAP also paid tribute to athletes who donned the country’s colors in the local and international competition along with the league’s rookie of the years and MVPs in all sports.


The league also gave special distinction to those who excel not only in sports but also in academics like volleyball stars Abi Maraño of La Salle and Kathy Bersola of UP, FEU booter Dexter Chio, NU tennis player Fritz Verdad, Adamson softbelle Elvie Entrina, UST taekwondo’s Jane Narra, Ateneo swimmer Axel Ngui and UE’s Romero.

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