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La Salle’s Xiandi Chua, UP’s Nickole Dela Cruz named UAAP Athletes of Year

La Salle swimmer Xiandi Chua. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

La Salle swimmer Xiandi Chua. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — La Salle swimmer Xiandi Chua and University of the Philippines softball star Nickole Dela Cruz were crowned the Athletes of the Year in the UAAP Season 85 on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Chua, the MVP of women’s swimming, earned the individual Athlete of the Year, while Dela Cruz earned the top honor in the team sports during the closing ceremony of Season 85.

Chua earned the Most Valuable Player plum last November to end La Salle’s title drought in swimming where she set four new UAAP records to win six golds, one silver, and one bronze medal.

Chua also set a new SEA Games record in the women’s 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:13.20 for the Philippines’ first gold in swimming in Cambodia.

Dela Cruz won the women’s softball MVP and also earned the Best Hitter, Best Slugger, and got the Most Runs Batted-Ins at 10.

The infielder was supposed to play for the Blu Girls, who qualified for World Cup, but she was ruled out after a knee injury in Finals Game 1.

Meanwhile, Adamson boys athletics star Kent Francis Jardin won the Athlete of the Year for individual sports in the high school division, while Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraw John Rey Pasaol won the top honor for team sports.

Jardin was named as boys’ athletics MVP and won seven golds in all events.

Pasaol was a mythical member of boys’ basketball and led the Baby Tamaraws to a championship. He was also the MVP of the 3×3 boys basketball —  a demonstration sport.

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