No surprise: NCR winds up Palaro overall champ
San Jose, Antique—National Capital Region punctuated another robust campaign in this year’s Palarong Pambansa with a pair of compelling victories in ballgames at the expense of the host region.
But while Metro Manila hardly needed these triumphs, those setbacks in basketball and football at the end of the week-long national games for elementary and secondary athletes proved too costly for Western Visayas (WV).
Behind the stellar performances of Encho Serrano and Gerry Abadiano, NCR demolished Western Visayas, 75-48, in high school basketball at Evelio B. Javier Gymnasium here Saturday despite showing up in the gold-medal match with just eight players.
Just a few hundred meters away, the hosts again fell to the Big City bets in secondary boys’ football, 3-1, with Kieth Absalon scoring early and Shanden Vergara firing two consecutive goals before halftime.
At the end of it all, Southern Tagalog became the recipient of WV’s collapse and charged ahead in the medal standings to wind up second overall for the second straight year.
NCR bagged its 13th successive overall championship as early as Thursday evening with 98 gold, 66 silver and 45 bronze medals. Southern Tagalog leaned on baseball and volleyball for its last three gold medals.
Calabarzon pulled off an escape act in secondary girls’ volleyball with a 20-25, 11-25, 25-16, 25-16, 15-9 come-from-behind win against heavily favored NCR after surviving Davao region, 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 25-20, in the secondary boys’ division.
Southern Tagalog also sealed the baseball gold at the expense of NCR for a medal output of 41-57-57 after five days of chasing Western Visayas, which ended up third overall (38-29-40).
Antique governor Rhodora Cadiao and Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones thanked over 12,000 delegates, including 7,000 athletes, from the country’s 18 regions for the success of the 60th edition of the Palaro during the closing ceremonies at Binirayan Sports Complex.
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.