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NCR keeps Palaro title

SAN JOSE, Antique — National Capital Region put an exclamation point to another year of overpowering show by ruling three team events to capture the overall championship of the Palarong Pambansa for the 13th straight time yesterday at the Binirayan Sports Complex here.

NCR claimed the boys’ and girls’ secondary basketball and the secondary girls’ football titles to complete a dominant showing in the week-long meet with 98 gold, 66 silver and 45 bronze medals.

Calabarzon finished second with a 41-57-57 tally, while Western Visayas, the host region, came in third with 38-29-40.

Highlighting the dominance of the Big City contingent was the seven golds produced by male swimmer Maurice Sacho Ilustre and the seven records shattered by Jerald Jacinto in the earlier stages of the competition.

Represented by Chiang Kai Shek, NCR bucked the injuries of key players that reduced the squad to an eight-man lineup and crushed Western Visayas representative Sta. Clarita International School of Iloilo, 75-48.

The team coached by Goldwyn Monteverde won despite playing sans Batang Gilas mainstay Jonas Tibayan, Karl Tamayo and Jon Lim as he leaned on his roster led by Encho Serrano.

NCR downed Negros Islands, 57-32, to take the girls’ secondary basketball gold while its representative, Claret School, took the girls’ secondary football title at the expense of Western Visayas’ Barotac Nuevo, 3-1.

Kieth Absalon scored the opener while Shanden Vergara produced a brace as NCR scored all of its goals in the first half on its way to retaining the crown.

Meanwhile, Calabarzon secured its runner-up finish in the overall race by taking the secondary baseball championship and the secondary girls’ and boys’ volleyball trophies.