Team Baguio retains Batang Pinoy overall championship
BAGUIO CITY — It was mission accomplished for team Baguio as it retained the overall title and the PHP3-million windfall in the Batang Pinoy National Finals that ended over the weekend.
Baguio closed the sporting meet with a 14-gold medal haul during Friday’s games in five sports events, bringing its total haul to 61 gold, 48 silver and 63 bronze medals and successfully defended the title it won last year.
Though the number of gold medal haul is fewer compared to last year, Baguio remains the overall champion, with head of delegate and city sports coordinator Gaudencio Gonzales praising the young athletes for a job well done.
Last year, Baguio’s medal haul was 83-81-107, way ahead of its closest contender Cebu City which had 36-40-44.
“We are coming home with PHP3 million as our prize money although it will come much later because we have yet to process some papers,” posted Gonzales on his Facebook account.
Last Friday, wrestling redeemed itself as they won four gold medals to bring the team’s total to five golds, aside from the six silver and six bronze medals in the goodie bag.
Official results posted by the Philippine Sports Commission show Cebu at second place with (34-34-29), Davao (31-24-37), Laguna (27-24-18) and Quezon City 25-25-23 medal hauls.
Laguna defeated Baguio in the Luzon regional leg earlier this year as the highlanders gained a semblance of revenge when the combat sports athletes struck gold and won 52 of the 61 golds earned in the games for athletes 15 years old and younger.
Wushu had the biggest contribution with 14 golds after the two won by sanda also on Thursday for a 14-7-4 medal production. The Baguio wushu team is also the team champion.
Muay thai wrapped up early with a 10-4-3 haul. Judo is the second-best performing Baguio team this year with a 10-5-6 haul. Taekwondo gave an 8-8-9 total.
The pencak silat squad wound up with a surprising 3-0-3 output. Arnis contributed a 1-5-9 medal haul while boxing also delivered with a gold, aside from two silver and two bronze medals. Archery is the most productive non-combat event with an 8-8-9 stash.
Gonzales and some of the delegates joined the closing ceremony even as many tried to see the wonders the province had to offer, including the underground river.
“They deserve a big break and go see the wonders the province could offer,” Gonzales said.
Acting Mayor Faustino Olowan on Monday said the city is prepared to honor the athletes who have once again given honor to Baguio.
He said based on an ordinance, athletes representing the city in recognized national competitions are entitled to a cash incentive.
Olowan is temporarily taking the place of Mayor Benjamin Magalong who is on official business in China, together with other officials of the city.
City Administrator Engr. Bonifacio dela Peña said the young athletes will be honored during the flag raising ceremonies on September 9. **Pigeon M. Lobien/ PNA