THE second class municipality of Talaingod in Davao del Norte hogged the limelight after its girls volleyball team put up a gallant show of sheer talent and determination to outlast Davao City spikers in two straight sets in the Batang Pinoy 2019 Mindanao Qualifying Leg finals held at the University of Mindanao Tagum gym over the weekend.
The feat earned Talaingod its one and only medal, a gold at that, in the games for 15 years old and below athletes. Talaingod, thus, placed 37th in the overall medal tally of the weeklong meet that drew some 3,000 delegates from about 89 local government units (LGUs).
Davao City, as expected, retained the overall championship title with 58 golds, 40 silvers, and 58 bronzes.
Come to think of it, it was indeed a shining moment for Talaingod, which had been beset with insurgency problems over the years. The victory of its girls volleyball team that paraded the services of some lumad players also elated the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the chief organizer of the Batang Pinoy 2019 Mindanao Qualifying Leg.
PSC chief William “Butch” Ramirez, during the closing program at the RDR Gym of Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City, shared that he earlier told the Talaingod team before the championship game to bring them to Manila for one week and play exhibition matches with teams from prestigious universities. PSC will then provide for their air fare, meals, and accommodation at the Philsports Complex dormitory.
“The purpose of this is to fulfill what was mandated of me by President (Rodrigo) Duterte when I assumed office, to make sports accessible to the periphery, to the community,” Ramirez said, adding that Batang Pinoy, a centerpiece of the PSC's sports for peace program, shall continue to open opportunities for up and coming athletes and various LGUs, whether big or small.
Talaingod volleybelles will also continue their journey when they represent Mindanao, along with silver medalist Davao City and bronze medalist Davao del Norte to the national championship slated in October and set either in Tagbilaran City or Ormoc City.