INDANG, Cavite – Cavite State University’s EJ Orsolino ended the province’s search for its first gold medal, beating Bulacan Agricultural State College’s Lenard Mendoza, 2-1, in the men’s Army featherweight arnis finals of the ROTC Games Luzon leg at the CSU International Convention Center here Friday.
Banking on swift and crafty counterattacks, Orsolino easily won the first round 5-1 but lost the second on a penalty despite the round ending in a 6-all draw in the competition organized by the Department of National Defense and the Commission on Higher Education.
But the BS Education Sports Science sophomore student kept a firm grip of the deciding round 7-1 to seal the gold in the tournament also supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Office of Sen. Francis Tolentino.
Army cadets Villamiel Tiongson of Don Honorico Ventura State University and Christian Ibanes of Quirino State University were the other winners in the lightweight and welterweight divisions, respectively, of the meet also backed by the Tagaytay City government led by Mayor and Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino.
Don Honorico Ventura State University picked up its second mint in Villamiel Tiongson in the Army women’s featherweight division while Tarlac State University’s Chrystal Mae Ferrer and Quirino State University’s Lheny Jade Laroza were the other winners in the lightweight and welterweight classes, respectively.
Dominating the Navy division was University of Cagayan Valley, which bagged three golds courtesy of Mikey Tungcul and EJ Guiyab in the men’s lightweight and welterweight divisions and Ronamae Rosquita in the women’s welterweight category.
Navy cadet Rey Elexis Gumamit copped the men’s featherweight while Batangas State University and Philippine Merchant Marine Academy’s Princess Lyka Sumagui were the champions in the women’s lightweight classes, respectively, of the sportsfest also backed by the Indang City government of Mayor Perfecto Fidel.
Tanauan Institute Air Force cadets secured two golds in Christopher Datumolok and Krizzia Claudette in the men’s and women’s featherweight division, respectively, while the lightweight gold in the men’s division went to Bien Gabriel Adoris of Holy Trinity University-Palawan.
“Nagkamali ako sa second round kasi na-penalize ako dapat panalo na ko du’n. Pero masaya na rin at nakabawi at nakapasok sa ROTC Games national finals,” said hometown bet Orsolino, whose father is a company driver and mom a homemaker.
“Of course we are proud that Orsolino won and will be our representative in the ROTC Games national championships. We will be giving our all support to him as he represents our school and province in the event,” said CSU Athletic Director Dr. Analisa Mojica, who personally awarded the gold to the athlete.
Just as proud of the Cavite athlete’s achievement was Tagaytay City Councilor Michael Tolentino, the son of Sen. Tolentino, who was on hand to watch Orsolino’s triumph.
“This is what my father Sen. Tolentino has been saying that the ROTC Games provides a platform in discovering promising athletes like Orsolino. We wish him all the best in the national finals,” Tolentino said.
Philippine Eskrima Arnis Kali Federation Vice President Gerald Canete, who was the arnis tournament director, noted that the ROTC Games Luzon qualifiers drew a huge number of 130 entries and stressed “that most of the eskrima (sparring) matches were very competitive.
“These gold medalists will certainly be worth watching in the ROTC Games national finals.”