Lingayen – Team Pangasinan has again showed dominance in sports in a field of 227 participating Local Government Unit (LGU) contingents as it placed over-all 3rd runner-up in the recently-concluded Batang Pinoy - Luzon Leg (BP-LL) held in Malolos City, Bulacan from July 17-22.
Team Pangasinan collected 18 gold, 24 silver and 37 bronze medals (as per reports by the Philippine Sports Commission; billiards and fencing events are not yet included).
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) confirmed the highest number of participants, ballooning to more than 4,000 during fifth staging of the week-long sports spectacle. Athletes aged 16-years-old and below competed in 22 sporting events.
Prior to the competition, the provincial government led by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. sponsored a weeklong training and conditioning for athletes of Team Pangasinan provided by trained experts at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC).
For the past four years, Provincial Sports Director Modesto Operania said that Team Pangasinan has gained reputation as top contender in various sporting events of Batang Pinoy as he noted that Pangasinan feted the over-all championship of Batang Pinoy – Northern Luzon Leg in 2012.
Team Pangasinan posted a back-to-back over-all 2nd runner-up placement in BP-LL held in Iba, Zambales (2013) and in Naga City (2014).
For this year, the Karatedo competition became the gold mine of Team Pangasinan with medal harvest -- 8 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze medals, followed by athletics and throwing events with 3 gold, 8 silver and 12 bronze medals.
The Karatedo team led by head coach Alejandro Vasquez remained unbeaten as over-all champion in BP-LL, besting groups from cities of Taguig and Bacoor.
Meanwhile, Pangasinense boxers who are active participants to the “Paboksing Ed Gulpo,” a component activity of Pangasinan Pistay Dayat merriment during summer, dominated the boxing competition with 2 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
The Basketball 3/3 – Girl’s team bagged the championship crown anew while archers of Team Pangasinan earned 2 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze in the national finals of archery competition played during the BP-LL.
Other teams that contributed for the over-all performance of Team Pangasinan include: Taekwondo (1 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze); Swimming (1 gold and 2 silver); Lawn Tennis (1 silver and 2 bronze); Arnis (1 silver and 1 bronze); Chess (1 bronze); and Volleyball – Boys (1 bronze).
In a show of support, Governor Espino formed “Team Pangasinan” in 2011 to become the official delegation of the province.
Batang Pinoy is a sports development program by the PSC for the grassroots level that is supported by LGUs and the Department of Education (DepEd).
/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca