Jerico Ramirez
Region VI

Women are powerful.

This was the highlight of the opening matches of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa wrestling event as strong-willed female wrestlers in the Cadet girls–40 kg. category fired up St. John Paul II College of Davao, morning of April 29.

Thrilled with oozing excitement and heated atmosphere, wrestling fans and supporters from each region surrounded the multi-storey building to witness the athletes as they wrestle for the podium-finished opportunity.

“Entertaining po siya,” Davaoeño student Abegail Faith Escobido said, as she witnessed a live wrestling match for the first time. “Pinapakita nila na hindi dapat maliitin ang mga girls,” she added.

Breaking in at match no. 1 are Region 11 vs. Region 2 who fought muscle by muscle, but firing Region II in the red corner emerged as winner at one minute and 56 seconds. Ending faster than the previous match, Calabarzon wrestler dominated Region 3’s representative in 40 seconds.

Match no. 3 between Region 6 and Region 10 thrilled the crowd more as they raced tug-of-war in scores. Region 6 started strong in the early game advancing the other by three points at one minute and 21 seconds, but Davao’s bet kept track ending the first round with a point margin, 4-5, over the Blue Baron wrestler. The game became intense as the two equally-matched athletes tied the scores at 7-7, however, host region Davao was able to snatch a quarter finals berth in 3:44, thus ending the game with 10-7.

{SMACK DOWN. Mae Ann Sampayan of Region 10 smashes down Region 7’s Mary Grace Catherine Pamocino to clinch a quarter finals spot in Cadet Girls-40 kg. PHOTO BY: JERICO RAMIREZ

EVRAA and BARMM Regional Athletic Association reigned supreme as they dominated matches 4 and 5 against CARAA and Region 9 with scores 12-2 and 10-0, respectively.

Moreover, Region 2–CAVRAA also entered the top 8 against Region 12 with 11-4 win in a four-minute physical clash.

“Well, close ‘yong matches, unfortunately may mga heartbreak, like ‘yong iba, lamang siya sa puntos at akala niya matatalo na niya kasi na pi-pin down niya na ang kalaban pero naka-override siya at hindi maka-point, saved by the bell ang kalaban,” Victor Pinlac, Tournament Manager of the Wrestling event, expressed as he recalled the morning matches.

Emphasizing the strength of women in sports and paying homage to one of the pioneer wrestlers in the country, Gemma Silverio, who happened to be this year’s Palarong Pambansa wrestling sports icon, Pinlac shared that kicking off the event with female category is a statement.

Meanwhile, the intense wrestling matches continue in the following days still at St. John Paul II College of Davao.