DUMAGUETE, Philippines – Baguio City unleashed one giant push for gold medals in wrestling and wushu to capture the overall championship in martial arts at the close of the 2012 POC-PSC National Games here yesterday.
Wrestlers from the City of Pines collared four golds, seven silvers and three bronzes in the freestyle discipline to dominate the event held before a good weekend crowd at the Robinsons Place.
Not to be outdone, their counterparts in wushu bested the field 10 times in the remaining taolu events, took runner-up honors in nine classes and placed third in seven divisions at the ACSAT Gym.
In other fronts, National Capital Region imposed its will in men’s and women’s futsal at St. Louis Gym, scoring a twin-kill in the last day of the sportsfest backed by Smart Communications and The Philippine STAR.
The Phl’s very own Olympic-style tournament, the 12-day conclave ended with stories of triumphs and redemptions, of trials and defeats. And yes, lessons to learn.
“Good games but far from great,” said PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, the official in charge of the PNG. “Many LGUs (are) still not present. We need to make sports a stronger priority among local governments.”
One thing the PSC is looking at to address such concern is to possibly support LGUs.
“We are considering to hold the next PNG in Manila,” said PSC chairman Richie Garcia, adding that this way, they can cut cost on transporting equipment and paying for billeting and food of national athletes.
“Facilities are already existing in Manila and national athletes are based there. We are spending P15 million for their transport and stay in the province-host, and instead of spending on these, we can allocate a certain amount to LGUs for their sports programs and athletes,” he said.
Baguio amassed its final-day mints in wrestling courtesy of Ismael Bandiwan in men’s 50kg class, Elvis Julius in men’s 74kg, Myler Empil in men’s 62kg, and Minalyn Foy-os in women’s 48kg. Together with its 1-3-6 harvest in Greco-Roman, the Summer Capital collected a total 5-10-9 to nose out host Dumaguete (3-1-2 in Greco-Roman and 4-2-6 overall) for the general championship.
Vanessa Jo Chan snared the female long weapon and short weapon titles in Group C to lead Baguio’s gold rush in wushu.
Other Baguio victors were Ron Joseph Cecilio (male taiji quan Group C), Jasmine Chan (female taiji quan Group C), Faith Liane Andaya (female long weapon Group A), Raphael Tuason (male long weapon Group A), Daniel Parantac (male fresstyle taiji quan Group D);
Justin and Dustin Chan (male duilian Group C), Kariza Kris Chan and Natasha Laxamana (female duilian Group D), Engelbert Addongan, John Keithley Chan and Jacob Eleazar (male dullian Group D).
It was an-NCR show in futsal with the Big City’s men’s team crushing Dumaguete’s Foundation U, 15-2, and its women’s side dismantling University San Carlos-Cebu, 6-2, to show who’s the boss in the pitch.
Hamed Hajimahdi shamed the hosts’ defense by knocking down five goals (10’, 18’, 19’, 26’ and 39’) while Celestino Ravelo struck four times (4’, 7’, 32’ and 39’) to spearhead the rout.
In the distaff side, NCR leaned on the strikes of Rachelle Placencia (19’), Kathleen Kipte (26’), and Marigen Ariel (33’ and 34’) to cruise to the win after a 2-2 stalemate. Karla Pacificador delivered NCR’s first two goals (6’ and 15’) but her output was matched by the connections of USC’s Gayle Colina (9’) and Christine Mantilla (15’).
Meanwhile, four young swimmers emerged as the winningest of these Games - Pricila Loren Aquino of Quezon City with five golds, and Jenkins Lorenzo Labao of Baguio City, Franz Marquez of Quezon Province and Marc Artemius Paderon of La Union Province with six plums apiece.
Aquino raided in the mints in the girls’ 15-16 play, winning the 400m free, 200m breaststroke, 400m IM, and 200m IM while taking part in QC’s victorious quartet in girls’ 11-and-over 200m 4x50m free.
Labao reigned supreme in the boys’ 13-14 400m free, 100m free, 200m free, 400m IM 100m fly at 200m IM; Marquez lorded it in the boys’ 17-18 400m free, 200m free, 400m IM, 1,500m free, 100m fly and 200m IM; and Paderon triumped in the boys’ 15-16 200m back, 50m breast, 50m fly, 100m back, 200m IM and 50m back.
Note: Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo thanked the POC and PSC for bringing the PNG to the province and helping then show that “we are back on our feet and ready to continue our progress” after getting hit by typhoon “Sendong” and a magnitude 6.9 quake. This hosting, added Degamo, should “give us credentials when we make a bid to host Palarong Pambansa next year.
National team’s Marinel Rudas stamped her class in lawn tennis, going two-for-two in her stint at the Capitol Tennis Center.
Rudas nipped Cebu’s Sally Mae Sison for the women’s singles tiara, 6-2, 6-3, and later teamed up with her victim in ruling the women’s doubles over Cebuanas Macy Solon and Kim Uytico, 6-3, 6-1.
Army’s Elbert Anasta emerged triumphant in men’s singles after fellow national Johnny Arcilla retired during their title duel due to sprain. Arcilla previously partnered with Roel Capampangan to secure the men’s doubles gold over Anasta and Giovan Divinagracia, 6-4, 6-3.
Solon Baraquias and Maclean Mancy ruled the mixed doubles over Espino Abadia and Hanna Grace Kennex, 6-2, 6-3.