Team Balon Dagupan reigns supreme in Laoag City

R1AA BACK-TO-BACK CHAMP

IT’S done. Balon Dagupan team is the indisputable powerhouse in sports in Northern Luzon!

As defending champion in this year’s Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet, the team collected 87 gold, 64 silver and 55 bronze medals during a grueling five-day competition held in Laoag City from March 6 to 11, surpassing its total medal count last year of 72 gold, 53 silver and 39 bronze medals.

Dagupan City’s swimming team again proved itself as the city’s strongest medal contender when it accounted for 26 gold, 17 silver and 15 bronze medals.

It was the fourth consecutive banner year for the victorious Balon Dagupan swimming team, earning the label as the team to beat in R1AA’s swimming events.

The city’s arnis team hauled 14 gold, six silver and six bronze medals while the athletics team for elementary and secondary bagged a total of seven gold, 11 silver and six bronze medals.

The aerogymnastics team netted 10 gold and two silver medals while the gymnastics team hauled a total of 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze medals.

Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC) Vice Chair Finnela T. Sim said the medal haulers from the gymnastics team were products of the DCSC’s annual summer sports program who continued their training beyond the sports clinic.

The team’s boxing and wrestling teams also made history during their very first appearance in the competition. The boxing team bagged three gold and one silver medals, while the wrestling team hauled two gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

SPED athletes also bagged two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

The city was adjudged as Best Performing Schools Division in swimming, arnis, boxing and aerogymnastics.

Other results: Pangasinan 2 (57 gold, 52 silver, and 43 bronze medals for second overall), Ilocos Norte, (56 gold, 39 silver and 41 bronze medals,) Pangasinan 1 (42 gold, 41 silver and 45 bronze,) and Urdaneta City (29 gold, 31 silver and 48 gold.)

Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Sim and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorna Bugayong received the trophies during the closing ceremony on March 11.

The mayor lauded the efforts of the athletes whose collective skills and perseverance helped the city clinch its second overall victory.

“It inspires me to see how determined these children are to give their best and succeed. Makikita mong pinaghirapan ito ng mga bata natin. This city is truly proud of our children, “ said Fernandez.

She also expressed hope that the recent win would inspire more athletes to engage in sports, noting that the city’s athletes made significant progress in the competition since its seventh ranking in 2014.

With the city government’s full support to youth and sports development programs, Balon Dagupan rose from its being a perennial cellar-dweller to finish second best in 2016 and 2017, before finally clinching the top spot for two consecutive years now.

Sim said the net assignment is the Palarong Pambansa in April.

Meanwhile, 49 athletes are set to compete under selected categories in the Luzon leg of Batang Pinoy of the Philippine Sports Commission; and four swimmers are set to compete in the Philippine National Asian Games under the Southeast Asian Age group this March. (CIO/VDV)

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