Central Visayas’ boxers gave the region the marginal lead as the defending champions harvested 46 golds, 17 silvers and 14 bronze medals after three days of competition in the National Collegiate Games of the Private Schools Athletic Association held in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Trailing closely is Calabarzon (Region 4A) with 43 gold medals and nine silvers while sitting in third place is Western Visayas (Region 6) with 11 gold medals.
The Central Visayas delegation is mostly manned by athletes from Cebu City.
Delegation head Bernard Ricablanca said the medal tally is still unofficial as the event secretariat has yet to release an official medal tally.
The three gold medals clinched by Region 7 boxers yesterday was crucial as it allowed Central Visayas to break its gold medal tie with Calabarzon. Before the boxers’ impressive performance, both regions were tied with 43 gold medals.
The golds were contributed by Ian Refuela of Southwestern University (SWU), Melvin Besinga of University of the Visayas (UV) and Bohol’s Rocky Sismundo.
In athletics, Lorna Olarita capped her performance in the track and field competition with a total of three gold medals via two hurdles events and the 200-meter sprint.
MOST OUTSTANDING SWIMMER
In swimming, ace swimmer Loren Dale Echavez was named most outstanding swimmer at the end of the swimming competition.
Echavez accounted for a total of six gold medals by topping the 200-meter freestyle, 50m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 400m freestyle. She was also part of the 4x50m freestyle relay team that won a gold.
Echavez provided a bright spot after the Central Visayas swim team lost out the overall championship to Calabarzon with a six-gold medal advantage.
The team capped its campaign with two more gilts, four silvers and two bronze medals.
The two gold medals were contributed by Jesse Arriola Jr., who topped the 400m freestyle with a time of four minutes and 44.69 seconds, and Echavez, who topped the distaff side with a time of 5:00.11.
In tennis, the Siso siblings—Sally Dine and Sally Mae—scored a love-set win against Western Visayas for the women’s doubles title. They advanced to the finals by outsmarting Cotabato in the semifinals.
Sally Mae Siso will team-up with Israel Abarquez Jr. today for the mixed doubles title against Davao.
The duo earned a finals ticket after a 6-0 blanking of Western Visayas.
The Central Visayas team is already assured of a gold medal in the men’s singles with both Bernardine Siso and Fritz Satera of Central Visayas meeting each other in today’s finals.
Siso and Satera set up a finals date against each other when they dismissed their Bicolano opponents. Siso won his semifinals match with a 6-1 win while Satera survived his opponent 6-4.
Central Visayas can add more golds today with the team events finals to be held today.
Region 7’s men’s and women’s beach and indoor volleyball teams along with the squad in badminton and football advanced to the final round. CV’s karatekas also reached the gold-medal round late last night.
However, the favored basketball team fell short in the elimination round. Despite that, Ricablanca is still confident that Central Visayas will be able to fulfill its grandslam quest.
“We are looking at another win for region VII because we reached the final round in most of the remaining sporting events,” he said. “But we have to keep our guards up and maintain top caliber performance to make it real.”