Twenty-one-year-old Sid Tingson of La Carlota City joined the billiards competition of the POC-PSC National Games without any expectation of becoming a national athlete. He only wanted to play against the best cue artists in the country.
Yesterday, he played against Dennis Orcollo, the reigning World 8-ball pool champion and beat him, 9-5.
Tingson, a merchant marine incoming senior student from La Carlota, outplayed Orcollo in the winner’s break 9-ball men single billiards championship of the National Games at Gaisano City Mall.
His victory avenged the loss of fellow Negrense Larry Sultan, who bowed to Orcollo, 9-2, in a previous match.
Another high-ranking player of billiards, Warren Kiamco, lost against Rodrigo Geronimo of Bulacan, 9-7, to see the departure of top cue artists in the competition.
En route to facing Orcollo, Tingson surpassed an acid test in the hands of former Japan Cup champion Eduardo Saracho, 9-6, in the first round, as he joined another Negrense, Ryan Bucario of Bacolod City, in the list of early winners.
Bucario easily disposed of Alex Martin, 9-0, in the first round but fell on the wayside as he faced the “magician” Efren Reyes in the second round and suffered a sound beating, 3-9.
Others who advanced to the next rounds were female champions five-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and World 10-ball champion Rubilen Amit, SEAG 2009 silver medalist Mary Anne Basbas, US Open Billiards Tournament runner-up Irish Rañola, and Cheska Centeño, a new talent who is being eyed to join the national billiards training pool.
Meanwhile, young champions are emerging in archery as sisters Crizabelle and Crisha Merto displayed golden performances in their events, as Gabby Moreno, grandson of celebrity German Moreno collected five golds in his own category.
Fresh from a successful campaign in this year’s Palarong Pambansa in Dapitan City, Crizabelle, 16, won four gold medals in women’s recurve, while her eight-year-old sister Crisha captured two gold medals in her own division.
The Merto sisters are mentored by their father Crisanto Merto, who received an offer from the National Archery Association of the Philippines to help coach the national team.
Crisanto said the NAAP is also eyeing Crizabelle to join the pool of athletes who will be selected to represent the country to the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia this November.
Moreno, on the other hand, said he was glad to win five gold medals and he dreams of joining the archery national team, too.
His father, Federico, said Gabby started playing archery when he was five years old and he likes playing against older opponents. Giving their full support to his chosen sport, Federico said, their family is proud of Gabby’s achievements.
In judo, Binalbagan-born John Baylon booked the gold yesterday by prevailing over Jayson Seneles of Muntinlupa City in the senior men’s 81kgs.
Baylon hopes to get a slot in the 2011 SEA Games and play once against for the country.
Another SEA Games medalist Gilbert Ramirez of Universidad de Manila, also won the gold against Everette Domerez of UCIC in the 73 kgs. to join the list of yesterday’s winners in judo that include Angelo Gumila of AJA (90 kgs.), Mohammad El Helou of Bacolod City (100 kgs.), and Matthew Simon Hao of Ateneo (+100 kgs.).
Winners in the women’s division were: Annie Ramirez of Muntinlupa JC (57 kgs.), Eunice Lucero of Zamboanga City (63 kgs.), Jerika Senales of Muntinlupa JC (70 kgs.), Adrienne Bernardez of UP-JC (78 kgs.), and Precious Rosos of UE-JC in the (+78 kgs.)*
Olympian female weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz broke six records to impress the crowd and weightlifting officials who watched the competition at the SM North Parking Area in Bacolod City.
Diaz eclipsed her own record in the 2010 Tagbilaran National Games of 94kg. in the snatch with 95kg, erased her 2007 Thailand Southeast Asian Games of 116kg to 120kg in clean and jerk and improved her National Open record from 210kg to 215kg total in the 58kg open weight division.
She also broke three junior records to increase her collection of record-breaking six-gold performance.
Diaz was selected as a wild card entry to the Summer Olympics by the Philippine Weightlifting Association in early 2008, and she is the first female weightlifter to compete for the Philippines in the Olympics.*NAB
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