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GECKOS MUSCLE PAST FRIARS

The GW Geckos came up big in their rematch against the FD Friars, this time beating them by a large margin at the JFK gym as part of the all-day wrestling event.

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By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.

The first time the George Washington Geckos and Father Duenas Friars took on one another it was the Friars who walked away victors. Saturday afternoon, the two teams made their way to the John F. Kennedy gym for yet another battle in IIAAG High School Wrestling action. The highly anticipated rematch had both teams also fighting for sole possession of first place. When all was said and done, it was the Geckos who convincingly defeated their opponents 45-21.

“We came into today’s meet knowing that we just had to stick to our game plan and continue working hard like always,” said GW’s A.J. Collins. “Today’s battle pitted two of the league’s best teams so we knew that we had to come battle ready.”

The Geckos wasted no time setting the tempo early on as they recorded three pinfalls in four matches. Getting things going was GW’s Christian Sablan as he took on the Friars’ Eric Dela Rosa in the 195-pound weight class. Despite a pretty even first round, Sablan didn’t take any chances and managed to pin his opponent in the ensuing round.

The battle of the big boys followed with Kyle San Nicolas going to war against FD’s Eathan Cruz. Cruz looked poised to give his team their first points of the meet as he clung to a 2-0 lead after one round. However, San Nicolas came storming out in the second round and put Cruz on his back long enough to record the pin.

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

Not willing to go down another match, the Friars turned to Derrick Artero in the third match. Artero went head-to-head against the Geckos Phillip Siguenza in the 205 weight class. Both wrestlers put on a great showing and didn’t disappoint. However, it was Artero who pinned Siguenza to earn six points for his team and cutting the GW lead (12-6)in half.

From the heavyweights to the lightweights. The Geckos continued momentum as Justin Pangelinan needed only one round to claim victory. Going up against the Friars Adriano Cruz, Pangelinan gave GW back their double-digit lead after pinning his challenger a minute into the opening round.

With GW up 18-6 after the first four matches, the Friars would dig deep and prevent their opponents from running away. A victory via pinfalls by Kristian Cruz, followed by a win on points by Cyril Maravilla pulled the Friars to within (18-15) three points of tying the match.

Recognizing the capabilities of their opponents, the Geckos were able to regroup and rebuild a respectable lead. Back to back pinfall wins by Alan “A.J.” Collins and Kevin Samonte allowed GW to take back their double-digit lead.

“We knew that we needed to get our points back,” said Collins. “Our teammates did their job early on so that just meant we needed to reciprocate.”

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

With the Geckos up 33-21 late in the meet and only three matches left, Father Duenas needed two victories via pin and one by points to secure the victory. However, not willing to take any chances and give their opponents any breathing room, the Geckos swept the final three matches with a pinfall and two on points. The pinfall victory was credited to Donovan Fernandez who defeated Christian McCreadie.

“Being the last match of the competition against a very respected opponent was a little nerve-wracking but I just stayed positive and confident,” said Fernandez. “Whenever you go up against a team like FD, you know it’s going to be a battle so we just have to do our best.”

Other match results:

138-pound: FD’s Jaione Villegas defeats GW’s Jose Aguon via points (8-3).

145 pounds: GW’s Eddie Wagthuth defeats Kai Blas via points.

152 pounds: Edward Calvo defeats GW’s J-One Weires 3-0.

160 pounds: GW’s Elijah Quichocho defeats FD’s Charles Churchill via points.

170 pounds: Devin Balagbano defeats FD’s Austin Petros via points.

PHOTO GALLERY:

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

(photo courtesy of Michael Unpingco)

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