PAGADIAN -- Underscoring its status as a regional sports powerhouse, Zamboanga City turned the karatedo competitions into a gold mine on the penultimate of the POC-PSC Philippine National Games Mindanao eliminations here on Sunday.
The Gaisano mall activity center was like a virtual playground for the Zamboanga City karatekas, who captured 17 golds out of the 42 at stake on top of two silvers and one bronze medal in the meet organized by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Among their champions were Estiffen Angeles, Paul Merjun Tomboc, Jimmy Galez III and Robert Dave Cagot, who topped the men’s 18 to 29-year-old -55, -60, -67 and -75-kilogram divisions in kumite (sparring), respectively.
They were also dominant in the women’s kumite, with Heidi Chloe Angeles topping the women’s 18-29 -50-kg. division and Mary Joy Rebollos garnering the gold medal in the -55-kg. weight class in the sportsfest supported by the Zamboanga del Sur provincial government led by Governor Antonio Cerilles.
“Kung pinakyaw natin ang gold sa Asian weightlifting championships, dito pa kaya sa PNG Mindanao elims,” said Philippine Weightlifting Association vice president Elbert Atilano here in jest, referring to the success of Zambonga City lifters Hidylin Diaz and Nestor Colonia in the continental meet.
Mentored by Atilano, who is here to support the Zamboanga City contingent led by his wife and city sports director Cecile Atilano, Diaz and Colonia combined for a sterling haul of five golds and one silver medal in last week’s Asian tilt held in Phuket, Thailand.
Cagayan de Oro finished a distant second in the overall karatedo medal standings with six gold medals, five of them in the kata event, including victories by the Rene Ricardo Donaire in the men’s 18-year-old and above division and Marc Ian Naguita in the boys 15-17 intermediate class.
Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which held the Palarong Pambansa nationals last May, stamped its class in taekwondo, picking six golds medals, led by finweight Rohaine Lapiz and welterweight Czarish Tamayo, who ruled their respective weight divisions in the senior girls division.
Iligan City also garnered six golds while General Santos City had five, including four in the boys poomsae competition.
The gold, silver and two bronze medalists in both karatedo and taekwondo qualify for the POC-PSC PNG finals in April next year.
In softball, SCUAA champion Rizal Technological University dumped Mampang, Zamboanga City , 5-1, to annex the men’s crown while the team of Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat blanked Josefina, Zamboanga del Sur, 7-0, in a conceded game to capture the women’s championship.
Davao City’s Mar Ranao, the reigning UAAP men’s champion, conquered Zamboanga City’s Ian Jasper Chiong, 21-17, 21-13, to clinch the PNG Mindanao eliminations badminton men’s Open singles title.
PRISAA women’s champion Pia Lynne Fabros of Metro Kidapawan subdued teammate Irene Mae Saquian, 21-6, 21-11, in copping the women’s Open singles championship.
Metro Kidapawan’s Oliver Lasaca and Neil Ven Ybanez vanquished the Zamboanga City pair of Neovanyl Arana and Edcel Dasok, 21-14, 21-19, in annexing the men’s doubles Open gold.
But Fabros and Karen Mae Montilla, the women’s UAAP titlist, rallied from a first-set deficit before overcoming upset-conscious teammates Elaine Gamboa and Clara Mae Tolosa, 12-21, 21-14, 21-14. (PR)