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Baguio bets take charge

VIGAN, Ilocos Sur — Three-peat overall championship-seeking City of Baguio is in for a close race for the top spot with just a day of competition on different fronts left in the Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships.

Behind strong showings in medal-rich archery and virtual sports muay and taekwondo, the Pine City bets collected 17 gold, 18 silver and 24 bronze medals as of 12:00 noon yesterday to keep a hold of the lead in this grassroots sports meet for in and out-of-school athletes aged 15 and below.

“We can’t be too complacent as they say in sports the ball is round but we’re very hopeful Team Baguio will retain the overall championship,” Baguio sports development officer Gudz Gonzales said.

The City of Lapu-Lapu is just three gold medals behind Baguio, which ruled the 2018 edition it hosted and the 2019 Puerto Princesa, Palawan meet before a two-year pandemic hiatus.

Lapu-Lapu had a collection of 14-6-5 gold-silver-bronze medals followed by Quezon City (13-8-9), General Santos (11-8-6), Laguna (11-6-6), Lucena (10-5-3), Iloilo (9-8-12), Pasig (9-6-4), Masbate (8-7-6) and Puerto Princesa (7-3-5).

Archery turned out to be a gold mine for Baguio as it collected eight mints including five from nine-year-old Jathniel Fernandez.

Aiden Eclipse and Edel Ngina added mints for Baguio in the male 13 and 15 years old muay waikru, respectively, Jandrice Cabajel took top podium in arnis boys’ 7-9 double weapon while a pair of taekwondo golds were provided by Leanne Siddayao (3 SK female black light-welterweight) and Shaun Yagyagen (6 SK male black light heavy-heavyweight).

Gonzales said Baguio expects more gold medals to trickle as results come in.

“I give credit to our trainers and coaches for their hard work despite the difficulties to find training venues. I guess this is the fruit of our training,” the official said, adding that Baguio will give cash incentives to podium finishers with P20,000 for gold, P10,000 for silver and P5,000 for bronze medalists.

Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City collected seven gold medals in virtual arnis competitions courtesy of Athena Sapio (girls’ 7-9 single weapon), Jarolyn Ycoy (girls’ espada y daga), Clarence Prado (girls’ 10-12 single weapon), Charity Tana (girl’’ 10-12 espada y daga), Jack Abatayo (boys’ 10-12 single weapon), Johniel Barral (girls’ 13-15 single weapon) and Jomel Tana (boys’ 13-15 single weapon).

Davao del Norte won four golds in arnis coming from Danemarck Shaw (boys’ 7-9 espada y daga), Zander Zafra (boys’ 10-12 double weapon), Eli Pamaybay (boys 13-15 double weapon) and Mic Armilla (boys’ 13-15 espda y daga). Other gold medalists were Iligan City’s Olga Saladaga (girls’ 7-9 double weapon) and Anne Butanas (girls’ 13-15 double weapon), Puerto Princesa City’s Shaon Dimalanta (boys’ 7-9 single weapon), Arrina Sayson of Rizal (boys’ 10-12 double weapon), Chazer Sison of Iloilo City (boys’ 10-12 espada y daga) and Pasig City’s Eliyah Cervantes (girls 13-15 espada y daga).

Over at the Quirino Stadium pool, Lucena City tanker Julian Lowers De Kam ruled the 400-meter freestyle in four minutes and 26.03 seconds for his fourth gold.

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