Baguio wrestlers shine, NCR sweeps futsal as PNG endsBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DUMAGUETE CITY—The POC-PSC National Games came to a close yesterday with Baguio City ruling freestyle wrestling and the National Capital Region sweeping the futsal competitions here.
The 12-day, 38-sport competition, re-launched by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee mainly to test whether the country’s top athletes deserve to be in the national pool, were largely dominated by the favored bets in measurable sports like track and field and swimming, and in softball, baseball, lawn tennis and triathlon.
PSC chair Richie Garcia said they are planning to bring the P30-million Games back to Manila next year to cut cost on transportation of equipment and manpower. He added that the Games’ outcome will weigh heavily in deciding the amount of financial support the national sports associations will get.
“This provided a perfect venue for the NSAs to justify the support they get from the government,” said Garcia.
Baguio grapplers amassed four gold medals, seven silvers and three bronzes in the freestyle events held at Robinsons Place. Adding to its 1-3-6 tally in Greco-Roman, Baguio finished with a gold-silver-bronze output of 5-10-9 to take the overall title in wrestling.
Host Dumaguete had a gold-silver-bronze performance of 3-1-2 to rule the Greco-Roman, and wound up second overall with a 4-2-6 tally.
NCR dominated both divisions in futsal at the St. Louis Gym, routing Foundation U, 15-2, in the men’s division, and University of San Carlos-Cebu, 6-2, in the women’s category.
Scoring heavily for the NCR, which conducted clinics and distributed sports equipment to typhoon-hit residents last Friday, were Hamed Hajmahdi and Celestino Ravelo who accounted for five and four goals, respectively.
Foundation got a goal each from Rashid Abella (34th minute) and John Tuballa (19th) but just could not handle the rampaging NCR booters who also got goals from Souroush Zalmo (16th, 18th and 29th), Rowell Abello (27th) and Jay-R Inventor (15th).
In women’s action also held at the St. Louis Gym, Marigen Ariel scored in the 33rd and 34th minute, while Karla Pacificador delivered in the 6th and 15th to lead the NCR lady booters. Rachelle Placencia (19th) and Kathleen Kipte (26th) also chipped in goals for NCR.
Gov. Roel Degamo lauded the organizing Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission for the smooth conduct of the 12-day sportsfest. He said holding the PNG this year was a big help in their bid to host next year’s Palarong Pambansa.