CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines?Laguna captured nine swimming golds to finish with 10 for the day and sustain its show of might yesterday in the 3rd Philippine Olympic Festival at the Don Gregorio Pelaez Sports Complex here.
Catherine Bondad captured four events (200-meter individual medley, 200m and 50m freestyle and 100m back) and young pool wonder Ariana Herranz won twice (50m free and 200m back) to hike her total victories to six for the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regional champion squad.
The 11-year-old Herranz had earlier scored in the 100m and 800m free, 100m back and 400 IM to emerge as the most productive athlete of the Games so far.
Former Palarong Pambansa multi-gold medalist Banjo Barjo topped the 200m back for his fourth gold, Joshua Casino topped the 200 IM and Laguna capped its golden splurge with another win in the mixed 10-and-under 200m freestyle relay.
The last Laguna gold came from Ira Marie Hernandez, who topped the discus with a throw of 29.63 meters.
Laguna tightened its grip on the overall lead with a 17-gold, five-silver and 11-bronze medal harvest in a bid to improve on its third place finish behind last year?s winner Manila and Quezon City.
Quezon City?s Rafael Sta. Maria and Las Pinas? Fahad Al-Khaldi also grabbed the limelight by posting Triple A times with rousing pool wins.
Triple A times are the standards used by the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association in determining the athletes? potential based on the times set by the International Swimming Federation.
Sta. Maria, an 11-year-old student at La Salle-Greenhills, showed tremendous promise in topping the 50m and 100 freestyle, 100m and 200m back, 100m breaststroke and 200m IM while Al-Khaldi, the 13-year-old brother of Palarong Pambansa sensation Jasmine, achieved his feat in the 50m, 100m and 1500m free, 100m and 200m back and 200 IM
Lanao del Nore smashed Davao del Norte, 70-58, to jumpstart its bid in basketball. Cagayan Valley, the Northern Luzon tiwinner, notched its second straight win at the expense of Cagayan de Oro, 86-83.