NCR extends Palaro reign to 13 years
DAVAO DEL NORTE—Picking up ball games golds along the way, National Capital Region marched to the Palarong Pambansa overall championship by stamping its supremacy over 16 other regions for the 13th straight year yesterday.
At the close of action at DavNor Sports and Cultural Center, the Big City athletes stood unchallenged with 98 gold medals, 67 silvers and 71 bronzes. NCR dominated most of the 17 sports played but was particularly strong in swimming where it landed 33 golds, and in gymnastics where it scooped up 12.
NCR has been triumphant since the 2002 Naga edition when traditional powerhouse Southern Tagalog began to compete as two teams after it was divided into two separate regions, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.
Calabarzon settled for second place with a gold-silver-bronze haul of 51-41-49. Western Visayas was third with 42-48-41. Cordillera, powered by its martial artists, was fourth (24-22-16), Northern Mindanao fifth (19-14-39) and Central Visayas sixth (18-29-29).
Rounding out the top 10 were Central Luzon seventh (17-10-21), Soccsksargen eighth (13-24-28), host Davao Region ninth (13-23-30) and Bicol 10th (9-14-19).
On the last day of competition, NCR prevailed in secondary girls’ volleyball, secondary boys’ and girls’ basketball, and secondary boys’ baseball.
NCR survived hard-fighting host Davao Region, 21-25, 25-16, 25-16, 19-25, 18-16, for the secondary gils’ volleyball title.
Central Visayas triumphed in three of the five boxing divisions through John Nino Vega (light mosquito) Lloyd Jabez Antoque (light paper), and Vicente Sios-E Jr. (pinweight).
But the most outstanding boxer award went to Davao Region’s John Micahel Diocares, who won the gold in mosquito weight. Soccsksargen’s Jayson Mama prevailed in light fly.
NCR golden boys Maurice Sacho Ilustre and Seth Isaak Martin wound up as the most outstanding athletes in the secondary and elementary levels, respectively after brilliant seven-for-seven assault in the pool.
Ilustre, a national team aspirant, scored two more record-breaking feats on the final day. He won the 200-meter freestyle in one minute, and 58.83 seconds that eclipsed the 2011 mark of Axel Ngui of NCR (1:59.05). He then powered the 400m freestyle relay team to the gold in 3:41.38