LAGUNA TAKES OVERALL BATANG PINOY GAMES LEAD
Bacolod City, Dec. 6, 1999- Laguna emerged as the overall champion in the just-concluded first Batang Pinoy-Philippine National Games, owing to Governor Jose Lina’s well-coordinated and well-sustained sports program.
Laguna pocketed 18 golds, 19 silvers and 11 bronzes. Negros Occidental was second with 12 golds, 10 silvers and two bronzes followed by Muntinlupa (12-0-2).
The top three teams will receive P300,000, P200,000 and P100,000 worth of sports equipment as incentives from the Philippine Sports Commission, the organizer of the P28-million event.
"We are thankful to the Lord for all the blessings. The people in Laguna are rejoicing, they are very happy because of the successful campaign of our athletes in this tournament," said Lina, also president of LPP and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).
Under Lina's administration, P15 million budget has been set aside to fund the province's annual sports-related undertakings.
Laguna was also overall champion in the Philippine National Games, LGU Olympics and was double champion in this year's Southern Tagalog Region Athletic Association (STRAA) meet.
"We are very proud of our accomplishments," said Lina
Laguna’s officials are hoping to extend the winning streak in next year's Palaro ng Bayan in General Santos City.
"We have to sustain our efforts and elevate our preparedness if we want to achieve our goal," Lina said.
Swimming and football are presently Laguna's foundation sports, but Lina said taekwondo, gymnastics and the other sports will follow.
"We need a special school for sports in Laguna. We are planning to put up a sports academy because this is the only way to produce world-class athletes," said Lina, who also bared plans to revive the Create-A-Sports-Hero program. Assisting in the project are former nationals Lydia de Vega-Mercado, Jaime Sebastian, Akiko Thomson and Eric Buhain.
"These former athletes can impart their experiences as well as expertise," said Lina, who tapped Buhain to handle Laguna's swimming team, which delivered 15 golds
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