BRUNEI — Davao continued its surge in swimming even as Palawan reaped the dividends of a solid athletic program as the Philippines shone in the 10th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-Northern Territory-East Asia Growth Area (BIMPNT-EAGA) Friendship Games on Saturday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Fritz Jun Rodriguez became the Philippines’ first double-gold medalist after topping the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:09.59. The lanky 17-year-old swimmer, who will see action for San Beda in the NCAA swimming competitions this season, earlier won the 50-meter breaststroke at the start of the swimming competitions.
Not to be outdone, Eirron Seth Vibar added a gold medal to his two silver medals with an outstanding swim in the 200-meter butterfly. Vibar a Grade 10 student at the Apo Learning Village in Davao City, posted a winning time of 2:16.
As of this writing, the Davao splashers had a total of five golds.
Palawan also contributed its share to the Philippine campaign in this biennial event promoting not only brotherhood but economic cooperation among the so-called focus areas which are away from the capital cities of the competing countries.
Jessel Lumapas and John Lloyd Cabalo, both natives of the picturesque town of San Vicente, Palawan, beat the opposition in the women’s and men’s 400 meters.
Lumapas had a winning time of 57.47 seconds, while Cabalo, the smallest among the finalists, earned thunderous applause with a personal best 50.14 seconds.
Both Lumapas and Cabalo have already earned athletic scholarships from National University.
Lumapas also grabbed a silver in the century dash with a time of 12.65. Sabah’s Chelsea Cassioppea Evalib emerged as the meet’s fastest woman with a time of 12.35.
Sabah completed the sprint double as Desmon Wong Tzyy Luen edged Eveans Oteng of the Northern Territory with a time of 11:28. Oteng settled for the silver with 11:35.
Chef de mission of the Philippine delegation is Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey. The PSC under Chairman Butch Ramirez and in cooperation with the Local Government Units of Palawan and Davao City and the Mindanao Development Authority fully supported the participation of the nationals.