DAPITAN CITY, Philippines – With Dara Clariza Evangelista dazzling in the pool, Davao City closed in on leader Zamboanga City with packets of victories in arnis, table tennis, chess and badminton as the two regional sporting forces sustained their charge in the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy 2012 Mindanao leg here.
The 15-year-old Evangelista powered her team to the girls 15-under 200-meter medley relay to pluck her fifth gold of the meet Saturday and become one of the most promising finds in the regional leg and even send a strong message to her opponents in the coming National Finals next month.
The 5-foot-5 Evangelista also owned the gold in 15-under 50m freestyle, 400m free, 200m free and 800m free to lead Davao City’s 9-gold romp in the swimming pool. But Zamboanga City shared some of the bounty by winning seven led by Glenn Adrian Arsula who annexed his third gold with a win in the boys 11-12 200m free.
Davao City also reigned supreme in arnis with five gold medals to show led by Denise Lagumbay in pinweight full contact, Jennilyn Morcello in flyweight full contact, Jasmin Alabe in featherweight full contact, Catherine Lei Segura in bantamweight full contact, and Anthony William Ceniza in welterweight full contact.
Cagayan de Oro took two golds in kata through Britney Josh Abines who shone in girls anyo single weapon and anyo double weapon.
Chess also became the Davao City’s bulwark of strength as Austin Jacob Literatus accumulated six points each to snare the golds in boys standard and blitz. Teammate Dhona Yngayo also had a perfect sweep to take the girls standard, while 11-year-old Allaney Jia Doroy broke the monopoly with a gold in girls blitz for Agusan del Sur.
The 15-year-old Literatus, who is already a Fide Master for winning age-group gold medals in Asian-plus and Asian championships, made the most of his last stint in the tourney. He is a fourth-year high school at Doña Carmen National High School in Toril.
Zamboanga City, which boasts of an athletic program that runs all year long, has so far captured 31 golds, 19 silvers and 19 bronzes to lead the medal race. Davao City is in close second with 22-18-9 tally, while Gen. Santos City A is at far third with a 7-3-0 harvest.
Davao del Norte sneaked in with two golds in table tennis held at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University gym through Celso Cubio who bagged the boys singles gold and the mixed doubles top prize in tandem with Princess Carolino. Melody Intog topped girls singles to hand Cotabato Province its first gold of the meet.
Zamboanga City and Davao City even grabbed a share of badminton honors with a gold medal each at Dapitan City Cultural Center.
Jerickson Obaob held sway in boys singles for Zamboanga City, while Marinel Diansay lorded it over the girls singles for Davao City. Adriene Estremos and Ronald Deon Omana worked hand in hand to win the boys doubles gold for Dipolog, while Karina Mae Pollentes and Dera Jamaica Ganzon topped the girls doubles for Gingoog City.