CEBU CITY -- Triumphs in athletics by Prince Joey Lee, weightlifting by Joefrey Frasco and arnis by Dexler Bolambao and Jackie Tuada enabled host Cebu City to take the lead after three days of competition in the 2018 Philippine National Games presented by the Philippine Sports Commission at the Cebu City Sports Complex here Tuesday.
Lee completed a two-gold medal sweep of the senior men's 10,000 and 5,000-meter runs to lead Cebu City’s charge in the week-long event which offers P10-million to the winning LGU from President Duterte and the PSC.
A standout of University of Cebu, Lee clocked 33 minutes and 27.13 seconds in winning the 10,000-meter run in the morning.
He returned in the afternoon to add a second gold in 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:55.80.
“I just did my best to win (both events). I kept my patience.. My focus really is the National Open after the PNG,” said Lee.
Cebu added four more athletics gold courtesy of Seth Pilapil (junior men's 200-m); Etnesyo Ybanez (decathlon); Joselou Rebalde (women's 200-m); and Ruza Hane Valuente (400-m hurdles).
In weightlifting, Frasco also plucked out to golds in the open and youth division's 50 kgs class at the nearby Naga City.
Frasco recorded a total of 180 kgs after 80 80 in the snatch and 100 in the clean and jerk.
Over at Mandaue Sports Center, Bolambao bagged the gold in the double-stick non-traditional form while Tueda took the gilt in open traditional form.
Overall, Cebu led the way with 15 gold, 18 silver and 17 bronze medals
Baguio City is second with 9-12-11 and General Santos is third with 9-12-10.
Judo produced two lopsided winners in Filipino-Japanese twin brothers Shugen and Kensei Najano of Pasay City, who clobbered their respective rivals
In archery, Loren Chloe Balaoing of Baguio City swept her events over Gleen Francheska Gacal of General Santos City.
Balaoing shone in the Recurve Junior Women 72 rounds and Recurve Junior Women Olympic Round.
The biggest star, however, was Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
Diaz submitted a total of 205 kg after lifting 90 kgs in the snatch and 115 kgs in the clean and jerk to capture the gold medal in the women’s open competition in weightlifting at the Naga City covered court.
Her 90 kgs in snatch was 4 kgs heavier than her performance in the IWF-World Championships in Anaheim, California last November.
Diaz was also satisfied with her result in the clean and jerk despite failing to match the national record of 123 kgs which she herself established in the PNG in 2012.
“Happy na ako dahil ito ang target namin ni coach (Tony Agustin),” said the 27-year-old pride of Zamboanga City who is hoping to finally win a medal in her third Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
“Lalaban talaga ako para sa gold sa Asiad,” added Diaz, who went home without a medal in her first two Asiads in Doha, Qatar in 2006 and Guangzhou, China in 2010.
Diaz’s teammate Dessa de los Santos took the silver medal.
The 19-year-old De los Santos, who bagged the silver in the 2016 Asian Juniors in Tokyo, Japan recorded 170 kgs (75-95) for second place.
Daryl Banaria of Quezon City was a far third with 119 kg (62-57).
Over at the Robinson's Galleria, GM Darwin Laylo of Marikina outduelled IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia of Manila and IM Paulo Bersamina of Tandag City whipped fellow IM John Marvin Miciano of Davao City to share the lead with four straight wins.
Top seed GM John Paul Gomez of Albay trounced NM Edsel Montoya of Cebu City to share third to fifth places with IM Kim Steven Yap of Cebu and NM John Merill Jacutina of Manila with 3.5 points.
Yap subdued Jhonnel Balquin of Cagayan de Oro City while Jacutina trounced Danny Maersk Mangao of Bacolod City.
Miciano dropped into a tie with Garcia, Montoya, IM Haridas Pascua, IM Oliver Dimakiling, GM Jayson Gonzales, NM Jerad Docena, NM Joey Albert Florendo, NM Alexander Lupian, FM Stephen Rome Pangilinan, NM Almario Bernardino, Jayson Salubre, Jay Bulicatin, and NM Anthony Makinano, all with three points.
Former Asian junior champion WIM Mikee Suede won by default over WIM Bernadette Galas to lead the women’s division with 4/4.
WFM Shanie Mae Mendoza, WIM Catherine Perena-Secopito and WGM Janelle Mae Frayna trail with 3.5 points.