Carreta lifters deliver golds for Cebu City in Batang Pinoy Finals

Coach Gary Hortilano and his weightlifting team won the 1st two gold for the Cebu City Niños (photos by Christian Maningo)

PUERTO Princesa, Palawan — Just as when everybody thought it would be a bleak Monday for Team Cebu City, the weightlifting team stepped up to the challenge and delivered two morale boosting gold medals in Day 1 of competition of the Batang Pinoy National Finals 2019 in San Jose Covered Court.

With only a silver medal from the track and field events credited the whole morning, the Carreta lifters of Coach Gary Hortilano rose up and made the day brighter for Team Cebu City Niños.

The brightest hopeful was 12-year old Kicely Hermoso, Grade 7 of Carreta Night High School who won the 35kgs gold medal after scoring a total of 91kgs from a best of 38kgs lift in the snatch competition and a 53 best lift in the clean and jerk.

The gold medal was not easy for Hermoso, who also won the gold medal for Cebu City in the Baguio City Finals last year in the 32kgs weight category, as she has to shed weight from 40kgs down to 35kgs.

Her sacrifice was not wasted as she delivered the first gold medal for Cebu City.

“I am just very happy. Despite nga nag reduce ko, nakuha gyud nako ang gold medal. I drew strength and inspiration from my mother who is very supportive to me,” Hermoso told iNews.Ph.

Coincidentally, her mother Adel Rhoxan Lobite happened to be a former member of the Philippine National weightlifting team who vied in the 48kgs class. Placing behind Hermoso were April Durango of Tagbilaran City and Jhodie Peralta Zamboanga City.


Kicely Hermoso (right) with her mother Adel Rhoxan Lobite


The second gold medal was delivered by the Grade 5 student of Carreta Elementary School Eron Borres who topped the 37kgs weight class. Borres who took up weightlifting to make his family proud lifted 45kgs in the snatch event and 65kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 110 kgs total weight lifted.

According to Hortelano the gold medal was already sure for Borres after only his first attempt.

Borres’ competitor Kent Alas-as of Zamboanga City and Andrey Honod of Quezon City managed only to lift a total of 70 and 62kgs respectively.

Aside from the two gold medals, Cebu City weightlifters also won two bronze medals courtesy from 32kgs lifter Alberto Barcardo Jr. and Kelvin Fernandez.

Cebu City’s bet in Boxing John Kevin Jimenez and Benjiemar Codoy moved to the next round after beating their respective opponents at the Mercado Park.


Jimenez scored a unanimous decision win over Mark Dizon Flora of Palawan in the Jr. Boys Pin weight division (44-46kgs) while Codoy proved too much for Mikko Embusado of Dagupan following his Referee Stop Contest victory at the 1:46 mark of the first round in the Jr. Boys Light flyweight division contest.




Meanwhile in the track and field competitions, Palarong Pambansa standouts Lheslie Delima of Camarines Sur and James Bryle Ballester of Laguna Province won’t the first pair of gold medals after ruling the 800-meter race in their respective division at the start of the Athletics competition at the Speaker Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex.

Delima crossed the finish line at two minutes and 22.5 seconds (2:22.5), which was a good 2.5 seconds distance from the eventual silver medal winner Margvrylle Chrause Matchino of Laguna province and 5.8-seconds distance away from bronze medallist Anna Marie Eugenio of Pangasinan.

Ballester meanwhile won the Boys gold after crossing the finish line in 2:02.48. He was followed by Renzo King Catulay of Victoria City (2:05.6) and Charlie Ong of General Santos City (2:06.6).

Krisha Aguillon of Bacolod City was the fastest girl in the competition as she won the 100-m Girls by completing the century dash in 12.7 seconds. She was followed by Kyla Elona from Laguna (12.9) and Erica Marie Ruto also of Laguna (12.9).

The fastest boy at the track title went to Marc Angelo Daroy of Aklan who just breezed the 100-m distance in 11.4 seconds. John Dave Magtangob of Pasig City (11.6) and Justine Angelo Munoz of Pangasinan Province (11.7) came in behind respectively.

Meanwhile, Cebu City won its first medal – a silver, courtesy from the Grade 9 student of the University of San Carlos-Basic Education Department Shaula Fernelli Santiago who finished behind Kate Julianne Martinez of Bago City.



It was a close fight between the two Visayas throwers with Martinez taking a slim lead until the final three rounds.

Santiago best throw was at 31.16 before it’s reduced to 30.64 and finally at 29.81. It was at this point when Martinez stepped up and threw her best 33.53 to win the gold medal.

“I am just glad that I was able to beat my personal best. I thought I had her (Martinez) but evidently she still had some aces left with her. I am glad for this achievement because I could not break the 30-meter distance until now,” Santiago told iNews.Ph. Janine Ledina of Zambales Province finished third with 28.90 meters distance.

The boys gold medal was won by Ron Gabriel Villa of Dasmarinas, Cavite (39.65m), his teammate Con Prince David nabbed the silver medal (35.87m) and the bronze went to Mark June Mercedes of Maasin City (34.60m)

The Cebuano coaches showed empathy on Cebu Province’s Gio Beguna, of Sisters of Mary School Boys Town, who was the strongest bet in this category.

“We really thought that Beguna would win the gold because he had already broken the 40-m barrier. Unfortunately, he committed three mistakes. What a waste,” Cebu City athletics head coach Arvin Loberanis said. Although Cebu City has no entry in the discus throw event for Boys, the Cebu City athletes were rooting for Beguna who they considered as brother.

“It’s just unfortunate that we lost a gold medal potential. Error na dayon sa first throw pa lang gani niya. Eventually, na disqualified gyud. Anugon, but this is not just his time yet,” Cebu Province and SOM Boystown athletics coach Francis Berezo explained. RCM