4 AHS debaters named among Top Ten Best Speakers in PH at PSDC

January 21, 2016
Luigi Alcañeses; Video and screen grabs by Paul Daza

The Ateneo de Manila High School Debaters took great steps in the recent Philippine Schools Debate Championship (PSDC), held in the Ateneo de Manila University campus last January 14-17, 2016. This is the culminating national tournament of the year, the most important one in the local scene. Here, AHS was able to send 11 teams in total, being the largest contingent to send students to compete. Overall, it was a stellar performance throughout the whole bench that would leave the AHS mark in this year’s PSDC, which was participated in by 216 debaters from all over the country. Below are some of the more notable performances from teams of the contingent. Renz Reyes & Luigi Alcañeses of AHS A made it to the PSDC final

AHS A, composed of captain Luigi Alcañeses and co-captain Renz Reyes (both from 11-A), reached the finals of the tournament, and were named as the 4th and 3rd Best Speakers in the Philippines, respectively. This is the 12th time the AHS has reached the national finals in the 14 years of PSDC’s existence.

AHS D, with Hans Gonzalez (10-M) and Paulo Valencia (11-N), came out as the top seeded team of the preliminary rounds, with a total of 19 team points, only two away from a perfect break, which has yet to be achieved in PSDC’s history. Gonzalez was named 6th Best Speaker while Valencia was also named  4th Best Speaker. AHS D reached the quarterfinals of the finals series.

(L-R) Hans Gonzalez, Luigi Alcañeses, Paulo Valencia, and Renz Reyes made the PSDC 2016 Top Ten best speakers roster

AHS F, comprised of Carlos Tiu (11-A) and Sam Zabat (10-G), made it to the semifinals of the tournament, and was 7th in the overall break. Following them at 8th break was AHS B, composed of Ervin Grana (11-L) and Nicky Solis (11-B), who brought their run to the quarterfinals and ultimately broke for their first time in this national tournament. The last AHS team to compete in the finals series was AHS G, with Matti Tan (9-A) and Phil Javellana (11-H). They were 14th break in the overall tabulation, and they reached the octofinals as well. This completes the 5 institution cap limit for Ateneo, wherein 5 of the top 15 teams in the country were from AHS.

Worthy of mention as well are the breaks of AHS C (Lorenzo Lazaro of 11-A & JC Cruz of 11-L) and AHS E (Drico Ramiro of 11-A & Red Nadela of 11-A) as the 20th and 21st best teams, respectively. They fought honorably throughout the arduous rounds and although they didn’t compete in the actual finals series, they still displayed noble effort in determination and skill.

The team would also like to recognize the participation of AHS H (Matthew Mercado of 9-A & David Africa of 9-A), AHS I (Ryan Oquiza of 9-D & Benj Dy Quiangco of 9-A), AHS J (Francis Dominguez of 10-B & Gabe Apostol of 9-A), and AHS K (Javy Pineda of 9-D & Miguel Carnecer of 11-C) for their utmost effort into joining PSDC to represent the school. As young members, they have gained a valuable learning opportunity from this unique experience on the national level.

Finally, the team would like to especially thank Ms. Kristine Valdellon and Mr. Arvin Sadia of the Office of Student Activities for its sponsorship of the team, and Dr. Carmela Oracion for her unyielding support. The AHS Debaters’ showing at PSDC would not have been possible without their help.