DUMAGUETE CITY—Day 2 of the Palarong Pambansa saw some intense action in the first day of competitions at the pool with four new records and at the tracks. Although Region 7 still failed to win a gold medal from these events, but it still struck gold in arnis and badminton.
In an unlikely occurrence, the first gold medal came from the arnis team, courtesy of Maximo Caballes Jr. of the University of Cebu. He won the secondary boys individual single weapons competition, the event he also won in last year’s Palaro in Pangasinan.
Meanwhile, the Region 7 players of coach Eddie Estoconing continue to dominate the badminton competition after winning the gold medals in the elementary and secondary divisions.
In both finals, the teams defeated the National Capital Region, another powerhouse team in badminton. And NCR did not make it easy for them.
“Naabot gyud ug decision tanang finals,” said trainor Patrick Estoconing.
In the girls’ finals, Region 7’s Mary Kathleen Verallo lost to NCR, 21-6, 21-9, putting more pressure on the other players. In the doubles event, Elloise Marie Canillo and Zirah Marichelle Bejasa kept the team alive when they beat NCR, 21-6, 21-10.
This gave Katrina Garing a more daunting task as the team’s victory laid on her shoulders. “Nakulbaan ko, pero kalma ra ko,” said Garing, who easily won the deciding singles, 21-5, 21-18.
In the boys’ side, Talisay’s Pete Abellana lost in the first singles, 21-17, 21-15.
Banilad Elementary School’s James Ryan Navarette and Lyrden Laborte won the doubles event, 21-11, 21-14, and later easily won the deciding match, 21-5, 21-8, sending in their strongest singles player Carl Bernard Bejasa.
The secondary boys’ team of Dexter Opalla, Fritz Safaad, Nino Quirado and Alfred Armamento finished only with a silver medal, while Hanah Tudtud, Jhunna Francisco, Android Rose Tingson and Tricia Merced finished with a bronze.
All of them will compete in the individual competitions today.
Meanwhile, the best finish Region 7 could come up with in the athletics competition is a fourth place finish in the secondary girls’ shotput, courtesy of Vera Rose Saragena.
Swimming became a gold mine for NCR with region 7 scrambling for bronze medals. Top bet Michael Ichiro Kong finished third in the secondary boys 200-meter butterfly. In the boys’ 4x50m relay of Matthew Thomas Magale, Val Andre Chiu, Ryan Tirol and Yuan Chiongbian finished with a bronze.
“It has been very tough for our swimmers especially in the secondary division. Because our strong swimmers have already graduated and most of our swimmers are only starting to improve and have not reached their peak yet,” said coach Lando Alvarez.
Yesterday, several records were broken in swimming and athletics. No one from Region 7 broke a record but the oldest record smashed was that of Cebu’s Lynette Ang made in 1996 in the 50-meter butterfly. It took 17 years before a swimmer from NCR, Regina Castrillo to break the record of 30.65 seconds to 29.68.