To win the gold medal is every athlete’s goal. How do they do it—intensive training, discipline, determination and passion. However, it takes more than the gold medal to be named as one of the Most Outstanding Athletes in the 2014 National Finals of the MILO Little Olympics.
What makes a gold medalist stand out among a sea of gold medalists is his/her character on and off the court, as stated by MILO Sports executive Robbie de Vera.
This year, organizers of the three-day multisporting event have decided to increase the number of most outstanding athletes to 50 to commemorate MILO’s 50th year anniversary. Since basketball and football have no girl divisions, two athletes will be chosen each for secondary and elementary.
Of the 50 athletes given the accolade, 18 comes from the three-time champion National Capital Region (NCR), while 17 comes from Visayas.
And, of the 18 from NCR, 10 were secondary athletes. Named most outstanding athletes for football are John William Abraham, a former Little Azkals, and Daniel Saavedra. The two helped their team, San Beda-Rizal, to rule the secondary football by virtue of a one-point goal difference.
In what was perhaps one of the most awaited match of the event, NCR and Visayas, manned by players from Paref Springdale, met again for the title with NCR coming out on top this time. NCR avenged losing the secondary football title last year to Visayas in a turbulent match that saw their then coach banned for life when he was unable to stop his goalkeeper, Michael Asong, a former member of the national Under 16, from leaving his post and attempting to punch a referee.
The rest of NCR secondary athletes to join Abraham and Saavedra in receiving the honor are John Ivan Cruz of the Araullo High School and Arielle Nicole Orella of Jose Abad Santos High School for gymnastics, Sta. Elena High School’s Chito Duavis for sepak takraw, Emilio Aguinaldo College – Immaculate Concepcio Academy’s Suzanne Vernon Himor for swimming girls, Jann Mari Nayre of Cavite National High School for table tennis boys, School of Saint Anthony’s Ezra Balingit for taekwondo girls, San Beda College-Rizal’s Noel Damian Jr. for tennis boys and Justine M. Dorog of Hope Christian High School for volleyball girls.
NCR elementary athletes cited for their outstanding performances are Jhon Remond and Aaliyah Ingram, both from Dr. Jose P. Rizal Elementary School, for athletics, Paliparan III Elementary School’s John Silvin Collamat and Janen Anchojas for scrabble, John Arsyl Tupas of Malanday Elementary School for sepak takraw, St. Jude Catholic School’s Jules Katerine Ong for swimming girls, Chen Wei Rhong V. Amarillo of Mandaluyong Elementary School for table tennis boys and Legarda Elementary School’s Aljon Talatayod for tennis boys.
Meanwhile, Visayas may have placed second to NCR in the secondary division, but nine of its athletes were still cited for their outstanding performances. The Bisdaks took all the accolades for athletics, basketball and scrabble. Picked for athletics are Ninolito Justiniane of Beatriz Durano and Elrica Anne Guro of Iloilo National High School, University of San Carlos’ (USC) Kent Vincent Moral, who scored the winning basket which allowed Visayas to rule secondary basketball, and Ken Gato, and University of San Jose-Recoletos’ Michael Benedict O. Tuba and Frances Dianne S. Lim for scrabble.
The rest of the Bisdak secondary athletes named into the elite circle are USC’s Laila Camel Nadera also of USC for chess girls, Severino Duterte MHS’ Sherlyn Love Gabisay for table tennis girls and Bright Academy’s Shyne Villareal for tennis girls.
The eight elementary Bisdaks honored are Zinah Marichelle Bejosa of Banilad Elementary School for badminton girls, Malabuyoc Central School’s Catherine Regina Quinanola for chess girls, Don Bosco Technology Center’s Joaquin Buyco and Charles Unabia for football, University of the Visayas-Main’s Daniela Reggie dela Pisa for gymnastics girls, Psalm Daniel Aquino of Asian College Technology for swimming boys, Cris Hilado of St. John’s Institute Bacolod City for taekwondo girls and Subangdaku Elementary School’s Matthew Gabriel Navace for volleyball boys.
Completing the 50 Most Outstanding Athletes are:
1. Daniel Pantanosas (Corpus Cristi School) – secondary badminton boys
2. Romeo Canino (MOGCHS) – secondary chess boys
3. Cedrich Joseph Fox (Phil. Nikkei Jin Kai International School) – secondary swimming boys
4. Charles Brian Asio (Xavier University Grade School) – elementary basketball
5. Ronmar Abrea (Xavier University Grade School) – elementary basketball
6. Bruce Cressler Gabing (Bulua Central School) – elementary chess
7. John Paul Cabido (Padiangas South Central Elementary School) – elementary gymnastics boys
8. Ivy Joy Poliquit (Naramag Central Elementary School) – elementary tennis girls
9. Anne Krizza Caasi (Masugpo Pilot Central School) – volleyball girls
1. Jellene Geriane R. De Vera (Colegio de Montessori de Pila) – secondary badminton girls
2. Gabriel Soria (University of Baguio High School) – secondary taekwondo boys
3. Manuel Andrei Medina (Jose Rizal Institute) – secondary volleyball boys
4. Kish Miguel Laboy (Colegio Monterei de Pila) – elementary badminton boys
5. Jorrina C. Nepomuceno (Sta. Isabel Elementary School) – elementary table tennis girls
6. Jan Edward Salao (SPED Center) – elementary taekwondo
Aside from a plaque, all those honored as the Most Outstanding Athlete in their respective sports will receive P10,000 worth of educational assistance fund and a one-year supply of MILO products.