NCR tankers bag 6 golds
Big City’s Bondad, Ngui upstage Calabarzon rivalsBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DAGUPAN CITY—National Capital Region sank the opposition in the swimming competition as even as it made strong forays on various fronts yesterday in the Palarong Pambansa here.
Powered by Catherine Bondad and Axel Toni Ngui, the Big City tankers upstaged their rivals from powerhouse Calabarzon with six gold medals at the start of the medal-rich event at the Dagupan City Poolsite.
Delia Cordero shared the limelight by ripping the girls’ high school 200-meter backstroke record with a time of two minutes and 22.16 seconds. She bettered the 1998 mark of Althea Lim (2:22.22).
The 13-year-old Bondad, who won a total of seven gold medals for Calabarzon in her elementary years, made her presence felt in the high school division by topping the girls’ 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke.
Ngui, an incoming college freshman at Ateneo, ruled the boys’ high school 400m free and 100m back as NCR limited Calabarzon to three golds in the first nine swimming events.
Victors for Calabarzon were Jose Mari Sebastian in the boys’ elementary 200m freestyle and 50m butterfly, and Nicole Meah Pamintuan in the girls’ 200m free.
Bondad, an incoming freshman at San Beda-Alabang, copped the gold in the girls’ high school 400m freestyle in 4:47.19, way off the Palaro mark of 4:35.23 of Natasha Legarda.
Bondad said she felt the pressure of competing in the high school division for the first time.
“My time was slower because of the pressure,” said Bondad, a gold medalist in interschool meets in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Bondad will see action in four more events in a bid to secure her third straight Palaro MVP honors after being so named in the 2010 Tarlac and 2011 Dapitan editions.
Also winning swimming golds for NCR were Joshua Benzi Yang in boys’ elementary 100m back and Ysabel Andria Canlas in girls’ elementary 100m back.
Over at People’s Astrodome, NCR sustained its fine form in gymnastics with two more wins in the girls’ rhythmic courtesy of Jhazelle Louise Limenzon who posted 44.223 points. Limenzon beat teammates Micha Jara Perol (43.383) and Mikah Palquiran (40.458).
The 1-2-3 finish handily gave NCR the team gold with 128.064 points. Region 12 placed second with 84.939, and Region 7 third with 84.438.
At the main hub, Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, NCR finally broke into the gold-medal column in track and field when Perlita Ynot cleared 5.32m in the high school girls’ long jump. Ynot bested defending champion Mary Anthony Diesto of WV (5.09m) and Judy Mae Almasa of Northern Mindanao (5.05m).
Western Visayas also struck through Pia Angelica Barcimo who ruled the girls’ elementary triple jump with a leap of 10.31m, besting teammate Ailyn Tumbali (9.96m) and NCR’s Patricia Hernandez (9.91m).
John Roel Sariola gave Bicol its first gold when he topped the boys’ elementary discus throw with a heave of 28.39m, besting the 27.01m of Calabarzon’s Gideon Arellano and the 24.54m of WV’ Ronald Lacson.