The Big City athletes have done it again.
Powerhouse National Capital Region (NCR) dominated the 2019 Palarong Pambansa for yet another time as the curtains finally fall on the country’s biggest sports talent search in Davao City on Saturday.
After the smoke of battle cleared, NCR had a total of 86 gold, 71 silver and 56 bronze medals capped by its conquest in boys secondary basketball over rival Central Luzon. The NCR Jammers started slow on Day 1 falling behind perennial rival Western Visayas but when its gold machine started chugging on Day 2, it was all downhill from there.
But while it was a rather easy route to the title for the many-time champions, the hosts from Davao Region had a rather tough journey the entire week.
The Eagles struggled in the face of stiff competitions and laid a big fat egg in the first three days of hostilities. Not until its boys quarter in swimming ended the drought on Thursday that Davao finally broke into the gold column. While the Eagles managed to strike golds in swimming, their 13-22-37 gold-silver-bronze effort was just good for 13th place this time, a far cry from its fifth place target.
Calabarzon was a distant second with 66 golds, 49 silvers, 73 bronzes while Western Visayas wound up third with 49 golds, 40 silvers, 58 bronzes. Soccsksargen was the best placed delegation from Mindanao with 26 golds, 43 silvers, 40 bronzes for fourth place while Bicol (23 golds, 22 silvers, 30 bronzes) completed the top five.
Central Visayas (24 golds, 22 silvers, 33 bronzes) was sixth; Central Luzon (23 golds, 29 silvers, 33 bronzes) seventh; Northern Mindanao (17 golds, 27 silvers, 26 bronzes) 8th; Ilocos region (16 golds, 13 silvers, 21 bronzes) 9th; Cordillera Region (14 golds, 13 silvers, 24 bronzes) 10th; and Caraga (13 golds, 10 silvers, 14 bronzes) 12th.
Completing the 14th to 17th places are Eastern Visayas (11 golds, 8 silvers, 19 bronzes); Cagayan Valley (6 golds, 6 silvers, 8 bronzes); Mimaropa (4 golds, 7 silvers, 12 bronzes); Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (3 golds, 10 silvers, 6 bronzes); and Zamboanga Peninsula (2 golds, 4 silvers, 21 bronzes).
This year’s Palaro also saw 31 record breakers in swimming; 24 in athletics; and nine in archery.
Cesar Abalon, chief of the Schools Sports Division and chairman of the Technical Management and Administration of the Department of Education (DepEd), told reporters at the Davao City – University of the Philippines – Mindanao Sports Complex media center on Friday that this Palaro saw several record breakers and the improvement in the performance of such regions as Bicol, Soccsksargen, and BARMM.
Although the NCR took the biggest gold medal haul, Abalon noted that it usually pulls away with 100 golds during the national games. This time, though, the region did not break its record, he said.
Education Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo earlier said all the regions were really competitive and performing well because local governments are constructing sports facilities.
Escobedo expressed optimism that the Davao region would improve in the future with the construction of additional sports facilities and more support in terms of good training. (With a report from PNA)