CAGAYAN de Oro’s arnis team is optimistic it could sustain its winning ways in the Year of the Wood Horse.

“We need to continue the momentum we gained in 2013. Basta makakuha la’g suporta, our arnis players will keep on competing anywhere in the country,” coach Leo Villegas told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

To close out the 2013 season, Villegas’ wards emerged second overall in the POC-PSC-ARPI Arnis National Encounter held at the SM North Edsa in Manila last December.

Bankrolled by Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeney “Bambi” Emano and the City Council of Cagayan de Oro, Team CdeO Arnis bagged a total of 8 golds and a silver in the tourney’s individual and synchronize categories.

“It was a great season-ending accomplishment for our team. And we’re so grateful to Gov. Emano and the City Council for supporting our campaign,” Villegas further said.

Leading the CdeO team’s triumphant finish is 15-year-old sensation Sam Julles Cantal, grandson of the late great martial arts expert Sammy Cantal, who won golds in the individual’s solo baston (anyo) and spada-daga before unleashing his full might in flyweight division of the full contact event.

Not to be outdone are the Bongcaras siblings, Ric Marcelino and Sanie Marc who won four gold medals each in their respective events as well as John Augustine Dee who thrived in anyo’s synchronize solo baston, synchronize doble baston and synchronize spada-daga and settled for a silver in the full contact’s lightweight division.