LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- University of Baguio (UB) jins last week demonstrated "breathtaking brutality" as they carted away 21-golds, 4-silvers, and 2-bronzes, topping the Milo "Little Olympics" regional qualifiers at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center here, July 30.
Baguio Defenders Taekwondo sabumnimki (teacher) and UB coach Arnold Oglayon revealed, "All jins who played in the Milo Little Olympics are likewise the same players who bagged medals in the recently concluded Philippine Taekwondo Association's Poomsae (forms) National Championship."
UB-dominated Team Baguio - Defenders raked in 22-golds, 11-silvers, and 15 bronzes in the battle of forms at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila, July 25.
With only a week to train for the sparring tilt, Oglayon said his kids had to double up on resistance and speed training to remove the cobwebs they got from weeks of training for poomsae.
Earning free tickets to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) for the Milo National "Little Olympics," October 14 to 18, are high school advance jins Suzzane Caslangen, Apriel Solimen, Keno Anthony Mendoza, Jhe-ann Alunday, Tiffany Delizo, Clifferson Scott Romuar, Tristan Dale Cayago, Kendrix Galian, Joshua Dizon, and Clark Mina.
They are joined by their younger gym buddies in the elementary division who include Justin Carl Nacua, Shannelle Romuar, Phoebe Kate De Guzman, Krizelle Therese Yadao, Aitana Fias-ilon, and Rama Chandra Liporada.
Under Milo rules, only top finishers playing in advance categories progress to the national finals.
Contributing gold in the novice category but are grounded from going to Cagayan de Oro for the meantime are high school jins Mark David Ng Fung, Paola Salazar, and Princess Natividad. Jack Janggo Natividad and Atilla Fias-ilon likewise contributed gold each to team UB.
Completing "Team Luzon" in the four-cornered fight for supremacy, which includes the National Capital Region (NCR), Visayas, and Mindanao, are kicksters from Baguio City National High School (BCNHS), Roxas Elementary School (RES), and Saint Louis University - Laboratory Elementary (SLU-LES).
They are Benjamine Keith Sembrano (BCNHS), Brighty Salazar (BCNHS), Josephine Pistola (RES), Gabriel De Vera (RES), Christian Duntugan (SLU-LES), and Alfritz Arevalo (SLU-LES).
Oglayon said, "Indeed, their hard work saved us blood in the mats despite limited time we had for sparring practice... With over two months to prepare, I am sure our kids would be fiercer by the time we reach the national stage."
"Again, we won't promise bringing home 'x' number of medals... All we can promise is our best," he said. (Isagani Liporada)