LEGAZPI CITY — De La Salle-Zobel star Maurice Sacho Ilustre shattered an 11-year old record in the 100m freestyle on Wednesday, highlighting powerhouse National Capital Region’s sustained assault in Day 3 of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex here.
Proving he’s a cut above the rest, Ilustre, 16, immediately broke the previous best-record of 54.47 seconds set by another NCR standout Kendrick Uy in the 2005 Iloilo Palaro edition in the morning trials, submitting a time of 54.41 ticks.
As if he’s just warming up, Ilustre came up with an even better performance in the final round, clocking in at 54.15 ticks to formally claim his third gold medal and put himself in prime position to repeat his impressive 7-of-7 showing in last year’s Palaro meet at Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Ilustre’s notable exploits provided the fitting glow on the Big City bets’ seven-gold haul in swimming, with elementary boys’ standout Raphael Henrico Santos becoming the first golden quadruple winner in swimming competitions.
Santos, who earned two golds in the relay events last Tuesday, proved he can also shone individually by topping the 200m medley (2:29.42) and the 100m freestyle (1.0.42) in style.
Another NCR tanker, Nicole Meah Pamintuan, secured her third straight mint by ruling the secondary girls’ 100m freestyle in one minute and 1.42 seconds.
The Big City’s other three golds in the pool came from Yuri Ilustre in the secondary boys’ 200m breaststroke (2:31.02) and its relay team—composed of Alaric Conlu, Cedric Butiong, Jose Antonio De La Rosa and Stephen Guzman—in the elementary boys’ 4x100m medley event (4:49.76).
Over at the St. Agnes Academy, Isabella Louise Sta. Maria displayed a virtual one-woman show as she became the first quintuple gold winner by securing five of six golds at stake in the secondary girls’ artistic gymnastics.
Sta. Maria topped the floor exercise, balance beam vault and individual all-around but finished as bridesmaid to fellow Big City bet Shantel Gruenberg in the single bar.
Both Sta. Maria and Gruenberg, however, teamed up with Rukmini Dasi Guevara in ruling the team event.
In the elementary ranks, NCR gymnast Jasmine Jane Velasquez accounted for four golds coming from the balance beam, vault, individual all-around and the team event where she conspired with Ancilla Lucia Mari Manzano and Samantha Noelle Dominguez, who topped the single bar.
Thrower Daniella Daynata accounted for one of NCR’s remaining five golds in Day 3 with her victory in the secondary girls’ discus throw.
Running at second behind NCR in the overall race is Calabarzon, which has amassed a total medal haul of 20 golds, 14 silvers and 18 bronze.
At third is Western Visayas with 18-13-14 followed by Northern Mindanao (10-12-17) and Central Visayas (10-10-12).
Host region, Abay Province, only has two golds, six silvers and as many bronze medals to show. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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