The region has prepared months earlier for this prestigious sports activity under the management and supervision of DepEd Regional Director, Dr. Isabelita M. Borres. Furthermore, the all-out support of the local government units and other stakeholders were also instrumental in achieving another success of the region in terms of sports competitions. Being in the 12th rank is already an achievement. Athletes underwent rigid trainings together with their coaches and trainers with the goal to climb steps higher from the previous rankings in the Palarong Pambansa.
Region IX sports chief Dr. Danny B. Cordova, revealed that the athletes’ training held at the palaro venue for more than one month before the actual competition has prepared them in terms of their physical and mental prowess. The athletes were able to acclimatized the place and the condition of the playing areas that contributed to the team’s wrapping up of six gold medals, seven silver medals, and 15 bronze medals which led them to advance to the over-all 12th rank out of 18 regional competitors.
Albert Jose A. Damaso of Sta Maria Central School, Zamboanga City bagged two gold medals when he led in a breast to breast race against his intense NCR rival in the 100 and 200-meter dash face off. Aldree B. Pan and Eric Jay Tangub, all from Zamboanga del Sur, advanced to the championship round and claimed one gold medal after the breathtaking final set of the game. Zamboanga del Sur Sports Academy Archers, Michael P. Fernando and Josiah J. Vivero seized one gold medal as they showed dominance in shooting their bow and arrow to the target face in the mixed team Olympic round, while Juvan L. Amantiad from Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur pouched one gold medal when he kneeled down his muscular CaLabarzon opponent on the third round in the amateur boxing bout at the Park of Legaspi City.
“The key is not the will to win— everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important,” said training director Mario Shojie Romarate.