Wahines and Juniors Serve High-Performance Shortboarding on Day Two
by Ferina Santos
Day Two opened with a relaxed and exciting atmosphere—the waves were promising with clean sets coming. After the back-to-back longboarding action yesterday, it was the juniors and wahines that took the spotlight.
Finishing the first two rounds of the Juniors Shortboard Division was enough proof that the future of Philippine surfing is glowing brightly. 2018 PSCT junior grand champion Gabriel Lerog (Siargao) bagged the highest combined total while sharing the highest single-wave score with fellow Siargaonon John Carlo Noguerra in the first round.
For the second round, Lerog once again demonstrated his aerial prowess by consistently delivering reverse aerials for the crowd and judges to enjoy. He was rewarded with the highest combined total score of 11.95 points and single-wave score of 7.25 points—the highest score of the day.
Lerog was ecstatic to hear the scores post-heat. “I’m glad about how the heats turned out even if I pulled a reverse before the buzzer sounded, I thought the competition had started.” he laughs.
The Women’s Open Shortboard Division opened with the quarterfinals, and reigning longboard queen Daisy Valdez (La Union) had the highest combined total of 10.15 points while Nilbie Blancada (Siargao), Philippines’ number one shortboarder, had the highest single-wave score of 6.25 points on her opening wave.
The La Union Pro 2019 marked Blancada’s return to professional surfing after a short hiatus. By the quality of her surfing, it didn’t seem like she took some time off.
“I’m overwhelmed! I love the feeling of competing, and I’m so happy to be back!” a beaming Blancada exclaims. “The feeling’s incomparable!” she adds.
Blancada won the coveted crown of the Asian Surfing Champion four years ago; making her the first Filipina surfing champion and 2016 Asian surfing champion.
“I’m excited about the incoming swell. I hope it barrels because that’s what I’m used to and what I want to do!” Blancada said.
Reigning longboard champion of the Philippines Daisy Valdez shares the same joy in Blancada’s comeback. “We’ve been surfing since way back, and we’re good friends. It’s great to see her back in the lineup again,” Valdez adds.
“Competitions are serious, but competing with Nilbie is like competing with a friend. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take our surfing seriously,” Valdez jests.
Paving the way for the younger generation of Filipina surfers, Valdez hopes for more opportunities to impart her knowledge to the growing number of wahines competing. “I hope that they learn from their ‘Ates’ in the water and they continue improving the level of surfing here in the Philippines.”
The La Union Pro 2019 is presented by the provincial government unit of La Union, Funky Quarters, Gwapitos, and Mad Monkeys. With the support of Kudo Surf, Cebu Pacific, Havaianas Philippines, Fat Lips Surf Shop, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, CNN Philippines, ANCx, Inquirer.net, Metro Channel, Tagpuan sa San Juan, Clean Beach, Olas Banditos, Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Seabuds La Union, Inq Pop, Fluidsurf, Be Siargao, PAGCOR, VANS Philippines, Maui and Sons, Beach Hut, DWIZ, My Life on Board, Fluidsurf, Heineken, and Surftown La Union.
The Philippine Surfing Championship Tour is the premier professional surfing competition where top surfers from all over the Philippines compete in multiple locations around the country, vying for a spot in the national surfing team.
Already on its third year, PSCT celebrates Filipino surfers, passionate fans, and dedicated partners that together grow the Philippine surfing community to what it is today and what it was envisioned to be.
PSCT exists to set the stage and act as a platform for professional surfing in the Philippines, promoting Filipino surfers as world-class athletes and uniting the surfing community and fans by sharing the story and adventure of Philippine surfing one tour at a time.
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