NCR bags 12th Palaro diadem
LEGAZPI CITY—For the 12th straight year, National Capital Region proved to be an unstoppable force in the sporting rivalry among regions after it formally laid claim of the 2016 Albay Palarong Pambansa overall championship Saturday.
Curtains fell for Palaro in this province built around the majestic Mayon Volcano with Metro Manila stashing 104 gold medals it picked up from one sport after another—in some sports in large volumes.
It cornered 27 golds in swimming, 19 in taekwondo and 16 in gymnastics, led by Isabella Louise Sta. Maria who got five of them.
Rubbing it in on the last day, NCR even shone in volleyball, sweeping secondary boys and girls divisions.
With core of Kings Montessori-Quezon City playing, NCR drubbed Calabarzon, made up of La Salle-Lipa spikers, 25-23, 14-25, 25-22, 25-21, to crown itself back-to-back champion. NCR also beat Western Visayas in boys side, 25-27, 25-14, 25-21, 25-19.
Its baseball team, made up of the core of Ateneo team, won the secondary boys baseball title. Metro Manila, composed of Far Eastern University booters, also prevailed in fight-marred secondary boys football finals over Central Visayas, 2-1.
But Central Visayas dominated tennis after capturing titles in secondary boys singles through Jan Godfrey Seno, girls doubles through Alyssa Mae Bornia and Zethley Mae Alferez, boys doubles through Rocel Ceno and Feb Wyndell Deja and the boys team through Seno, Ceno, Deja and Herbert Sarraga.
Softball golds went to Central Visayas in elementary, and Negros Island Region in secondary division.
Calabarzon, beefed up with San Beda-Taytay, reigned in basketball, winning the secondary boys title over Central Luzon (Infant Jesus-Pampanga), 92-72. The AMA Computer-powered Calabarzon thrashed NCR in elementary boys, 74-59.
All in all. NCR accumulated 104 golds, 56 silvers and 47 bronzes, leaving behind the rest of the field to subsist on crumbs. Calabarzon was far second with 38-42-58 tally, followed by Western Visayas with 35-33-38.
Rounding out the top 10 are Northern Mindanao (25-24-36), Negros Island Region (21-27-35), Soccsksargen (20-19-29), Central Luzon (16-13-25), Cordillera Autonomous Region (12-19-15) and host Bicol Region (8-15-18).
NCR struck heaviest in swimming, winning 27 of 60 events. Nineteen of the golds came from just three swimmers in Maurice Sacho Ilustre and Nicole Meah Pamintuan in secondary and Raphael Henrico Santos in elementary.
Ilustre and Santos swept all seven events they competed in while Pamintuan netted five mints.
Track and field produced several new Palaro records but it was middle distance wonder Mea Gey Ninura from Davao Region who shone the most.
The 16-year-old has been competing for several years in Palaro but only hit big time this year when she broke not only the meet mark but also cemented a national junior record in secondary girls 3,000-meter run.
Ninura’sT 10:03.4 last Monday erased the 36-year-old record of Rosalinda Catulong (10:09.05) during the National Open held in Marikina.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.