CEBU CITY: The Cebu City Niños completed their dominant run in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA), winning most of the individual and team gold medals at stake in the second to the final day to seal their 25th straight overall title.
The Niños swept the basketball and football gold medals, won two in volleyball and had an impressive 14-gold haul in archery to wrap up another CVIRAA campaign.
Cebu City won an impressive 143 gold medals, an increase of 30 from last year’s haul, to go along with their 58 silver medals and 65 bronze medals.
Cebu Province, last year’s fourth placer, jumped to second with 34-36-43, dislodging Mandaue City to third place with 29-38-38.
Bohol Province got fourth place, thanks to its strong showing in track and field, with 24-34-70 and Lapu Lapu City finished fifth at 21-33-29.
The University of the Visayas-led basketball team led the charge for Cebu City with a hard-earned victory over Bohol Probince, 91-80, for the secondary boys gold.
Joshua Yerro dropped 27 points for the MVP award. The secondary girls team also won the gold medal, 77-75 over Cebu Province, while the elementary team routed Bohol, 76-53 for the gold.
In volleyball, Mandaue outlasted Cebu for the elementary boys gold medal, 26-24-21-25, 25-21, while Cebu Province got the girls gold over Mandaue, 25-18, 25-13.
In the secondary division, Cebu City swept the finals matches in the girls and boys division against Mandaue and Cebu Province, respectively.
In football, Cebu City also swept the elementary and high school crowns.
Joseph Garces started scoring against Bohol in the eight minute, while Simon del Campo scored two quick goals in the 19th and 21st minutes.
Bohol couldn’t find an answer and was 6-0 down after John OSbe, Nathan Lingatong and Andres Custado scored at two-minute intervals starting in the 27th minute.
In the high school division, Cebu City had an anti-climactic final after beating rival Mandaue City, which was manned by the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 3-0. Cebu City earlier had to go through a penalty shootout to beat Bohol in the semifinals.
In archery, Lloyd Apawan and Khalyn Alyx Abella made a case for themselves as Cebu City’s most bemedalled athletes with six gold medals each, while the team added one apiece for a 14-gold haul.
Apawan ruled the boys’ 30-meter, 50M, 60m, 70m, overall FIta and Olympic round contests, while Abella won the girls 30m, 40m, 50m, 60m, overall Fita and Olympic round events.
In wrestling, Cebu City was officially handed the seven gold medals, weeks after knowing the golds were already theirs. Erica Cabije, Nicole and Rachel Galvez, Stephanie Costorio, John Guzman, Vincent Cabusos and Arnel Mejorada advanced to the Palaro as they were the lone entries in their divisions in wrestling.
In athletics, Cebu City won the century dash gold medals, courtesy of Seth Pilapil and Samantha Limos and also ruled the secondary division’s boys 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
After the VIRAA, the former competitors will now team up to banner Region 7’s flag in the Palarong Pambansa, where the region is hoping to finally crack into the top three after years of finishing as the fourth placer overall.
The Palarong Pambansa will be held in Antique in May and serves as the culmination of the Department of Education’s year-long sports program.