PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan -- For Mayor Oscar Moreno and the 172-strong Cagayan de Oro delegation, winning the “mind game” chess and the “most entertaining” basketball event is like winning all the marbles in the Batang Pinoy 2019 National Championships which ended Saturday, August 31, with the closing ceremony held at the City Coliseum of the country’s premier tourist hub.
The Oro bets, after a listless show in the early goings with only elementary chesser, Ruelle “Tawing” Canino, delivering a solitary gold in a three-day start, capped their 15-under meet campaign by winning some mints in chess, wushu, taekwondo, and badminton, and a whirlwind finish in girls basketball.
“We may not be able to hit our 15-gold target, pero lipay kaayo kita sa development nga naka-bounce back ang Team CDO on the final days of action. Lipay atong mayor (Oca Moreno), lipay si Rocky (sports consultant Douglas Calingin). Ingon man atong SK federation president (Kag. John Michael Seno) nga ni-apas uban gayud nato sa mga bata dinhi sa Palawan,” said delegation head Jaymar Serina Rivera.
Expertly guided by basketball couple, Catrina June Pong-Biongcog and fellow “MVP” husband Ronald Rey “Boning” Boning, the Oro junior ladies gave the City of Gold something to cheer after lording it over in the well-applauded basketball competition over at the Palawan National School (PNS) gymnasium.
Finishing undefeated by 20 or more margin may be a thing quite beyond anybody’s imagination.
“Pero wala ko na-surprise kay dili basta-basta ilang coaching staff unya rigid gayud ilang training and long preparation. Inspired kaayo ang mga bata nga ma-emulate ilang mga banggiitan nga coaches,” Rivera said of Catrina, a former stalwart of the Philippine team champion in Adidas 3-on-3 Challenge, and Boning who is a popular cager back home known for his acrobatic moves.
After a perfect 6-0 slate in the single elimination round, the Oro cagebelles encountered some rough sailing before defeating Pasig City, 77-58 and a crushing conquest of Iloilo City, 108-66 in the finals.
“Sa semis `mi naglisod kay nabasa na nila ang trapping defense ilang na-break. Maayo na lang gani kay gasipyat ilang mga fastbreak play,” Boning Biongcog told SunStar Cagayan de Oro.
Composing the triumphant basketball squad are the relatively “small but terrible” hard court warriors Louise Veronica Agad, Nina Joyce Canales, Xaniah Ebajay, Cheska Edulan, Razzyla Jane Lubrico, Jane Saclot, Aishe Mae Solis, Celrish Solis, Mikylla Taborada, Ma. Giordana Tagarda, Pauline Valle, and Alicia Margaret Villanueva who are mostly students of the so-called “Home of Champions” Corpus Christi School.
Slowed down by a runner-up stint in the prestigious standard event after a superb performance in rapid contest, “Super Tawing” (Canino) came back with a devastating effect in blitz event, winning five-straight and a draw to emerge as the victor combatant off the 64-square-board with 2 golds and a silver to show.
“She’s close to another perfect triple-gold win like what he did in the Mindanao qualifier in Tagum City. But Tawing made an unbelievable five passive moves in her early match with standard champion April Joy Claros of Angeles City,” said deputy chief arbiter IA James Infiesto of the 11-year-old Canino from Kauswagan Central School and mentored by Arbz Calido.
Meanwhile, Jay Christ Acop (52 kg) dedicated his gold triumph in Wushu (Chinese Kung Fu) discipline to injured compatriot John Paul Laus (48 kg), who settled for silver along with the other combat sport fighter, Carl Sabal (56 kg) from Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS).
“Na-encourage gyod ang bata (Acop) sa brave heart-performance ni Laus in winning his semis bout for the silver despite fracturing a bone in his lower left arm,” Panfilo Aleria said.
Facing a national team member in the finals, Oro jin Lee Young Huan of coach George Arsenal put up a brilliant effort on the mat floor to win a gold for Team CDO in taekwondo.
Jamal Rahmat Pandi also produced a gold in badminton singles event.
The Futsal ladies of coach Dhon Lazo and assistant coach Jerney Miaco tried their best in a rematch duel with elimination round conqueror San Carlos City footballers of Negros Occidental (3-1) off the Western Philippine University (WPU) soccer field, but failed again in a 3-0 score to content themselves with a silver.
“They played against the toughest team (U15 Girls Futsal) in the final. They gave their best inside the court. The spirit of sportsmanship were there and the value of Fair Play we treasured,” coach Lazo said.
As Rona Bacus seized a bronze in high jump and a silver in triple jump, arnis player Ian Boi Pudiquit got a silver for junior boys in Pinweight division, while fellow arnisador Kim Ryan Floro bagged a bronze in Cadet A (middle weight-padded stick) for 7-9 years old.
Wrestler Arleigh Kate Malolot of Bulua National High School clinched a silver in 47 kilogram category.
The Oro beach volley boys Mike Ahadain, Antonney Dale Cenas and Jevs Chael Tenebrose were the favorite to challenge Pangasinan for the title. But they settled for bronze after losing by forfeiture to La Carlota of Bacolod City.
“Late sila pero binigyan pa namin ng 30 minutes pahabol pero hindi pa rin umabot,” said one technical official of the beach volley event held in Palawan Blue Beach.
Combat sports powerhouse Baguio City snared a total of 61 golds in the unofficial tally for medal standing, as of Saturday to virtually claim the overall supremacy in the Batang Pinoy meet that grants spots to the national team seeing action in next year’s Children of Asia Games in Russia.
Cebu City and Davao City occupy second and third, respectively, with 34 and 31 gilts each.