By ISAGANI LIPORADA / PIO
BACOLOD CITY — Five Team Baguio jins snared 2-golds and 3-silvers during the first day of taekwondo wars in the Philippine Olympic Committee – Philippine Sports Commission (POC-PSA) National Games, May 25, stealing the show from the highly touted Philippine Taekwondo Team here.The National Games was slated May 21 to 31 with the City of Bacolod playing host.
Starting their climb to championship mat from opposite ends of the fight diagram, representatives from both teams sequentially dismantled contenders from other local government units until finally facing each other in the quest for taekwondo superiority.
First to score one over his Team Phl counterpart is bantamweight Fernand Delizo who edged Team Phl’s Kevin Ngitngit 5-kick points to 3 after three 2-minute rounds of skirmishes.
Despite his opposition’s height advantage and tricky maneuvers, Delizo played his game smart by bringing the match back to basics frustrating Ngitngit’s attempts to score big with his turning kicks.
“I fought him cautiously,” Delizo said adding, “I dropped the ‘flash’ in my game and hit him with 45-degree kicks, it worked!”
Asked about his motivation, the new dad replied, “I was doing it first, for my wife and son Krischnan Nayle who is barely a month old; and second, for the glory of Baguio.”
John de la Cruz of Cebu and John Caingles of Iloilo halved third spot with twin bronze mints.
Meantime, finweight Billy Joe Soria was virtually unmatched in his weight category with his far-superior moves that left even his rivals at awe.
Transforming the Negros Occidental Multipurpose Center into an emporium of pain, Soria made sure he outscored his opponents by a mile.
In the end, Soria pocketed Baguiofs second gold over Iloilofs Mario Nepumuceno (silver), Cagayan de Orofs Carl Palo (bronze), and Cebufs Arvin Festin (bronze).
Meanwhile, silver tasted like gold for lightweight Keneth Apalla, finweight Patricia Sembrano, and bantamweight Iyra Tindoc who fought gallantly against members of the Team Phl.
Going up against beanpole Samuel Morrison, Apalla who was more than a foot smaller lost the finals by a slim margin giving other members of Team Phl moments of panic.
Losing by an even closer margin of a measly point were Sembrano and Tindoc who faced international veterans Leigh Anne Nuguid and Jyra Marie Lizardo, respectively.
Baguio’s Voltes V are honed to battle perfection by Baguio Defenders Do Jang coach Arnold Oglayon.
Oglayon said, “Going up with members of Team Phl was like threading a needle… Hopefully, the wins and the excellent showing of our homegrown athletes will be given the recognition it deserves in the national level.”
“There are six more Baguio jins hoping to bolster our claim in the final day of competition, [May 26.] Hopefully, we could replicate if not surpass our first day accomplishments,” he added. # nordis.net