Cagayan de Oro City Athletic Association (COAA) team ruled the 2011 Palarong Pampook, which ended Sunday at the Mindanao Civic Center sports complex in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

The City of Golden Friendship bets, obviously inspired by the all-out support of Mayor Vicente Y. Emano, collected a total of 569.6 points combined from elementary and secondary levels to beat closest rival Misamis Oriental (543.2 pts) for the overall championship crown.

“Of course, preparado atong team og ganado ang mga bata sa ilang pag-compete. Our good mayor (Emano) and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro had allocated some P4.2-million budget for this campaign which is bigger than last year to the tune of over P3-million nga ayuda from the city school board,” said City Councilor Adrian “Adi” Barba, who accompanied the 400-strong COAA contingent in the week-long meet.

Right after receiving the good news of COOA’s reign, Kagawad Barba, City DepEd Supt. Myrna Motoomull and company immediately threw a dinner party with five yummy lechons and delicious ice cream glistening the faces of the battle-weary CDO athletes.

“Atong mga medalists sa Tarlac Palaro last year inspired sab nga mopakitang-gilas kay bag-o lang gi-release sa city ilang mga incentives. Bibo kaayo kay matag usa kanila nakadawat na’g incentives prior sa among pag-anhi sa Lanao ranging from P5,000 to P30,000 cash bonuses,” COAA’s acting team manager Eulogio Suaner Jr. told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

The land-locked province of Bukidnon came at third place with 373.7 points, while Iligan and gracious host Tangub occupied fourth and fifth places with 352 and 214.2 points, respectively.

Raymund Antolo, Bureau of Physical Education for Schools Sports (BPESS-10) director, said it’s just the first time that the overall champion had to be declared, though Misamis Oriental narrowly overtaken Cagayan de Oro by a mere 9.9 points in the secondary level fight.

It was also the first time, Antolo added, that the NMRAA Meet has recognized the most outstanding athletes per event in the elementary and secondary divisions.  

In the closing ceremony, youthful Governor Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo asked the MCC’s crowd if it’s possible for Lanao to host the regional meet for five consecutive times.

“Of course, I’d rather have the Palarong Pambansa be held this year in Dapitan City. Governor Leo Jaloslos is a good friend of mine and holding the event here might make him feel bad which I don’t like in the first place. So, athletes, coaches and team officials…see you in Dapitan this year,” said Dimaporo in a closing statement that virtually cleared the issue on which among the three prospects –Dapitan, Lanao and Misamis Oriental–as this year’s host of the prestigious Palarong Pambansa.

article by Lynde Salgados of SSC

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