CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro — Laguna capped an outstanding performance in the Southern Luzon leg of the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games with victories in badminton and chess on the final day of competitions over the weekend.
Mary Ann Maranon of Victoria, Laguna bagged the gold in girls' singles badminton after scoring a 21-12, 21-12 triumph over doubles teammate Alyssa Geverjuan of Calamba town in the finals.
Maranon, a third-year high school student from Trace College-Los Banos, and Geverjuan later toppled Lucena City's Marinalla Delos Santos and Ysabelle Diaz, 21-15, 21-15, in the girls' doubles.
Arman Joseph Manlalangit of Sta. Rosa prevented a sweep by Laguna, the defending national champion, with a hard-earned, 21-16, 16-21, 21-13 win over Jan Emilio Mangubat of Victoria, Laguna in boys' singles.
Mangubat, a high school sophomore from Trace College, bounced back from that defeat by pairing with schoolmate Fides Bagasbas in the boys' doubles championship where they downed John Abuel Sy and Josef Dumapit, 21-15, 21-13, in an all-Laguna finale.
Meanwhile, chessers Ian Jasper Forcado, Kenneth Flores, and Eric Robert Yap also contributed two gold medals in the team blitz and standard events (boys divison) before the trio of Cristhina Ann Medenilla, Eula Djemarie Dela Cruz, and Iris May Dela Cruz won the team girls' standard.
Overall, Laguna topped the talent discovery meet for athletes 15 years old and below with 73 gold, 59 silver, and 50 bronze medals. Dasmarinas placed second overall with a 25-29-18 haul.
Calapan City surged on the final day of competitions with three gold medals in chess and finished with 24 gold, 19 silver and 19 bronze medals.
Nezil Arj Merilles swept the opposition in the boys' individual blitz and standard, while the girls' blitz squad of Shayxanthe Louis Guico, Cylliz Kaissa Merilles, and Sofia Louise Ronquillo bested their Laguna counterparts.
Puerto Princesa City and Tayabas, Quezon showcased several potential boxers from the region after grabbing four and five gold medals, respectively.
Eljay Loreto, a second-year student from Sicsican National High School, stopped Earl Jade Narez of Quezon province at 1:21 in the second round of the light paperweight finals, while powder weight Warlito Tabat stopped Antipolo City's Nixon Mendoza in the first round.
Other winners for Puerto Princesa were paper weight Franklin Dela Cerna, and lightfly Rex Dona. The two, along with the top performers in the regional qualifying legs, will advance to the national championship in Iloilo City on December 5-8.
Mevin Pines (kiddie), Mark Alias (vacuum), and Jonel Miranda (ant) made Tayabas proud in the kids category together with light pinweight Joel Ramos and pinweight Manuel Cabriga in the school boys' category.