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Cebuanos flex muscles

/ 05:00 AM November 14, 2017

DUMAGUETE CITY—Jerish John Velarde gave Lapu Lapu City its only gold medals so far after running away with victories in blitz and rapid chess as Kyla Soguilon of Aklan continued her rampage in swimming Monday at the Batang Pinoy Visayas qualifiers here.

Eleven-year-old Velarde, who started playing at 3 years old and was already competing internationally at 6, also set himself on track for a sweep as he crushed Valencia City’s Rhed Cabebe in 44 moves of Sicilian in the first round of Standard division.


“I feel good about my chances (in Standard) but I like rapid and blitz more,” said Valencia after his match at Visionaire Convention Center.
“I get bored with Standard, it is too slow.”

The reigning Batang Pinoy National Finals champion said he focused more on fast-paced games as rapid and blitz give each players 15 and five minutes, respectively, to play, compared to standard which allots one and a half hours.

The fifth grader at Marie Ernestine School Cebu, who dreams of becoming a civil engineer like his father, said he would like to pick up his Candidate Master norm but had to give equal time to his studies.

At nearby Lorenzo Teves Memorial Aquatic Center, Soguilon picked up her fifth gold after topping the 50-meter butterfly, 100m backstroke and the 200m medley relay along with Joan Amor Cuevas, Sidley Rose Malumay and Maria Reina Nazareta.

The 12-year-old Soguilon, a 7th grader from Regional Science High School for Region VI and was named this year’s Palarong Pambansa Most Valuable Player, had earlier dominated the 200m individual medley and 50m back in the girls’ 13-15 division.

Overall, Cebu Province flexed its muscles with 14 gold medals so far on top of 13 silvers and 13 bronzes.
Of its golden stash, four came from karatedo.

Cebu City is in second place with a 9-14-19 tally, followed by Aklan (7-3-5), Bohol (6-5-5), Dumaguete (5-5-3), Bacolod City (5-4-8), Ormoc (4-3-3), Murcia (4-3-2), Bago City (4-0-1) and Leyte Province (3-3-3).

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