NCR sweeps 2 divisions in Palarong Pambansa | Inquirer Sports
PALARONG PAMBANSA

NCR sweeps 2 divisions in Palarong Pambansa

/ 12:07 AM April 28, 2013

DUMAGUETE CITY—National Capital Region pulled off another sweep of top honors in the elementary and high school divisions in officially claiming the 2013 Palarong Pambansa overall championship Saturday.

Scoring heavily in swimming, gymnastics and archery and showing strength in athletics, NCR garnered 596.9 points overall with Western Visayas a far second with 446.34 and Central Visayas third with 337.

Northern Mindanao, bouyed by decent performances in athletics, arnis, taekwondo and swimming, was a surprise fourth overall with 288, beating Calabarzon (250) and Central Luzon (155) which wound up fifth and sixth, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 were Socksargen (129.5), which jumped from 10th last year to 7th this year; Ilocos Region, eighth (110.67); Mimaropa, ninth (107.67); and Cordillera Administrative Region, 10th (104.17).

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Mimaropa nipped Central Visayas for the  high school football title, winning, 5-4, in the penalty shoot-out after regulation ended at 1-1 at Gov. Mariano Perdices Stadium.

But Central Visayas bounced back in high school basketball with a stunning 70-66 decision over powerhouse and defending champion National Capital Region in their championship clash at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center.

It was sorry loss for the Big City dribblers, represented by San Sebastian College, who were outplayed by the Central Visayans, made up of standouts from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

However, the loss hardly affected NCR’s overall drive for the  ninth straight year. NCR started its reign in 2003 in Tubod, Lanao del Norte after the break up of traditional contender Southern Tagalog into Calabarzon and Mimaropa the year before.

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NCR actually won 10 of the past 11 Palaro tournaments.

The Big City delegation gained big in swimming through the phenomenal pair of Catherine Bondad and Regina Erin Castrillo, who both swept  their seven events.

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Castrillo, 13, set four  records to highlight her dominance in the girls’ elementary division. She took up the sport at the age of five after shifting from gymnastics because her parents feared possible injuries.

“I’m very happy because I worked hard for it. I really wanted to make a sweep just before I leave the elementary competitions,” Castrillo said.

“I was trained well and prepared well,” said Bondad, who thanked her parents for rooting for her all week long. Owner of at least 20 Palaro golds since elementary, she also broke one record this year in duplicating her seven-gold sweep last year.

A total of 14 records were shattered this year, including 10 in swimming and four in track and field.

Joida Gagnao, a student of Southeast Asian Games champion Rene Herrera, shone for Western Visayas by breaking two records in the girls’ high school 1,500 meters (4:45.2) and 3,000 (10.22.6).

Barefooted runner Anjelica de Josef, also of WV, smashed the record in girls’ high school 800 meters (2:17.2) while Bryan Jay Pacheco of Central Visayas  shattered the boys’ high school javelin mark (57.81 meters).

In all, Western Visayas bagged 25 track and field gold medals in elementary and high school divisions. Among its top tracksters was Christopher Lirazan, who set a rare 100m-200m-400m golden sweep.

All told, NCR came up with 33 golds in swimming.

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Central Luzon’s Rafael Barreto matched the seven-gold swim romp in the boys’ elementary division while setting three Palaro marks.

TAGS: 2013 Palarong Pambansa, Athletics, National Capital Region, NCR, Palarong Pambansa, Sports

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