Xavier Debate Team Triumphs at National Tournament

by Steven Sy (G12A)
Photo by Ms. Julie Sy

For its third time running, the Xavier Debate Team has made a strong showing on the country’s national grand finals stage, with Xavier School A (Steven Sy and Jaime Siy) advancing to the grand finals of the Philippine Schools Debating Championship (PSDC). PSDC, held at the Ateneo de Manila University last January 11-14, 2018, is the most prestigious tournament in the Philippine high school debating circuit, with one hundred and forty-eight teams taking part. This year’s PSDC was the largest in the tournament’s sixteen-year history.

XS A advanced to the grand finals alongside two teams from Ateneo de Manila Senior High School and one team from PAREF Southridge School, where they opposed the motion, “This house regrets the premium placed on forgiveness.” After a heated debate, a seven-man panel composed of acclaimed college debaters awarded the win on a consensus decision to Southridge A (Jake Consing and Luis Garcia).

Nevertheless, Xavier still managed a strong showing in the grand finals, this year being Steven and Jaime’s third time in the finals, with them having managed the feat in PSDC 2016 and 2017. This makes them both three-time national grand finalists, a feat largely unheard of in the tournament’s history, with only one person managing it over a decade ago.

Steven was also named the 5th Best Speaker of the Philippines, while Jaime was awarded as the 7th Best Speaker of the Philippines.

Apart from the team that competed in the grand finals, Xavier School fielded six other teams into the tournament, for a total of seven, four of which made it into the tournament’s outrounds, reserved only for the top thirty-two teams.

Xavier School B (Alfonso Tan and Harry Paragas), Xavier School C (Eaton Sia and Martin Velasco), and Xavier School E (Matheson Cuan and Kyle Luigi Go) all made it into the national octofinals.

Xavier School D (Agustin Sy and Mark Asprer), Xavier School F (Luke de Ocampo and Alfonz Uy), and Xavier School G (Wil Uy and Jeriel Tiu), on the other hand, all competed and did well in the tournament’s preliminary rounds, all scoring just a few points shy of making the outrounds.

PSDC, organized yearly by the Ateneo Debate Society (ADS), remains the largest and most prestigious debate tournament in the Philippine high school debating circuit. A five-man adjudication core, composed of Katrina Chan (ADMU), Aloysius Bresnan (UPM), Miguel Ventura (UPD), Kurt Recinto (ADZU), and Kitty Albert (DLSU), decided on the motions for the tournament.

However, the team’s success is also due in large part to their excellent instruction from a variety of sources, with special thanks going to the team’s coach, Mr. Melchizedek Babilonia, the team’s moderator, Mr. Alfonz Chopitea, and alumnus, Ignacio Villareal (XS ’17), who all contributed significantly to the team’s development and training.

Once more, the Xavier Debate Team has proven their skills at the art of debating, and have again managed a strong performance on the national stage. Luceat lux!

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