DUMAGUETE CITY—Javelin thrower Jerremae Rubias captured the first gold medal of the 2013 Palarong Pambansa for Western Visayas yesterday and the host region added another in shot put through Renzy John Gemolaga at Mariano Perdices Sports Complex here.
Rubias, she with the long, awkward strides, flung the spear to a distance of 39.59 meters on her third try to rule the event where she barely qualified due to her erratic form in the regionals.
“I was thinking of the technique I would use, I wanted to make sure I used my hips and shoulder in perfect coordination,” said the 15-year-old, 5-foot-7 Rubias, an incoming senior at Tangalan National High School in Aklan.
She failed to get off a legal throw in her first two tries. “But on my third try I decided to let go and throw it as far as I could,” she said.
Rizalyn Apos of Caraga wound up second with a 37.89m throw, while Jovelyn Notario of Cagayan Valley was third with 36.06m.
Gemolaga ruled the high school boys’ shot put with a 13.65m effort, beating Bryan Jay Pacheco of Central Luzon (13.37m) and Garry Santiago Jr. of NCR (13.36m), who placed second and third, respectively.
Coach John Michael Ibo said Rubias’ concern over fouls was a result of her struggle to qualify during the regionals last February in Roxas City where she fouled her first four tries.
“She has big strides because she’s tall and sometimes that makes it hard for her not to step on the line,” said Ibo.
Rubias, also the reigning Batang Pinoy national champion, missed the record of 41.27 set by Stephanie Cimatu of Ilocos Region, but she attracted attention from talent scouts from the UAAP and the NCAA who are here looking for possible recruits.
National Capital Region’s John Resty Lorenzo ruled the high school boys’ long jump with a 6.66-meter leap on his third attempt to kick off his bid for a possible three-gold romp.
Bicol’s Rafael Bueno cleared 6.55m to settle for silver while Lord John Roilo of Davao Region took the bronze with a 6.52m effort.
“I want to win as many gold medals as possible to make up for last year,” said Lorenzo, an incoming high school senior at San Sebastian College who was sidelined by injury last year.
The 5-foot-7½ Lorenzo, who won two golds, one silver and one bronze in Palaro as an elementary athlete for Central Luzon, will also compete in his favorite triple jump and high jump in the next few days.
Western Visayas and NCR split the titles in the medal-rich athletics during the Lingayen Palaro last year with WV dominating the high school and elementary girls’ divisions and NCR the elementary and high school boys’ categories.
Action in basketball at Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center saw defending champion NCR, bannered by standouts from San Sebastian, thrashing Mimaropa (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan), 119-50.
Last year, Metro Manila, represented by Letran, downed Calabarzon (San Beda) for the title.
Calabarzon also opened its campaign with a 116-51 rout of Bicol, while Western Visayas dumped Zamboanga, 74-44. Central Visayas defeated Central Luzon, 84-53.
Western Visayas also scored in girls’ secondary volleyball at Foundation University Gym by drubbing Central Luzon, 25-20, 25-16.
Also winning were Zamboanga Peninsula over Socsargen, 25-22, 25-20; Ilocos Region over Eastern Visayas, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21; Calabarzon over Bicol, 25-14, 25-21; and Mimaropa over Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, 22-25, 25-12, 25-11