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UAAP track star shines in ROTC Games National Finals

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Kent Francis Jardin crashed all his rivals during the Manila leg. A week later, he’s doing the same, this time at the National stage of the inaugural Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Games on Monday at the Philsports track oval in Pasig City.

The 19-year-old UAAP Season 85 athletics Most Valuable Player (MVP) took the spotlight anew as the Adamson University star, representing Philippine Navy, registered the Games official record in 200m run in 22.07 seconds, a huge improvement from his 22.22 seconds performance in winning the event last week at the very same venue.

Luzon leg winner John Andre Ponce of the University of Cagayan Valley finished second at 22.78, while Visayas leg medalist Peter Molina of Western Visayas State University-Main Campus settled for the bronze medal (23.02).

The 5-foot-6 Jardin returned to the field an hour later as he anchored the Adamson squad composed of Denmark Dacunes, Ralph Anthony Lego, and Alexander Padilla in the 4x100m relay victory, clocking  43.29 seconds.

“Masaya po ako at nanalo uli ako sa mga events na target ko. Sa NCR leg, nakuha ko rin ang 200m pero ngayon doble saya dahil na-improved ko yung time,” said the Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Sciences (BSESS) freshman.

On the distaff side, Josie Inemedo from the University of the Philippines bagged the gold in the  200m (26.64) while the quartet of Marla Jean Bacaro, Ciara Largavista, Jeazel Talaver, and Angelica Bacaro from the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos topped the 4x100m relay run in timed of 55.50 seconds.

Action in the oval continues today with elimination scheduled in the morning and the Finals for the men’s and women’s sprint (100m), and men’s and women’s 4x400m slated at 3:00 p.m. Competitions in arnis and kickboxing also set to start at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Dacudao gym.

Over at the Dacudao gym inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RSMC), Philippine Army’s Joelen Efondo, Alfred Deslate, Mark Paul Hernandez, Florence Sumpay, and Rodrigo Lomogda, and Philippine Air Force’s Eric Baron advanced to the next round after winning their preliminary bout.

Efondo beat Air Force’s Jomar Olisa via a second-round technical knockout in the 48-51kg flyweight class; Deslate advanced via points over Air Force’s Love Heart Marino in the 51-54kg bantam division; Hernandez scored a 4-1 win over Navy’s John Laurence Noquiera in the 51-54kg bantam class; Sumpay prevailed against Navy’s Glen Mark Villagracia, 4-1, in the 57kg feather division, and  Lumogda dominated Air Force’s Nelvin Francis Arce, 5-0, also in the 57kg feather class.

Sen. Tolentino and Presidential Adviser Carlito Galvez (left) join ROTC Officers and teachers in the Games intermission.

Air Force’s Eric Baron also joined early winners, dominating teammate Ranie Camangian, 5-0, in the 57kg feather class

Volleyball competition continued at the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) gym with Jose Rizal Memorial State University defeating Tarlac State University, 25-22, 25-18, 25-23, and University of Cagayan Valley prevailed over Guimaras State University, 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 17-15.

In the lone match at the start of the competition right after the elaborate opening ceremony, Rizal Technological Institute overwhelmed PHILSCA, 25-11, 25-17, 25-15.

The ROTC Games, a brainchild of Senator Francis Tolentino, is also presented by the Philippine Sports Commission with close coordination from the Commission on Higher Education, the Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Local Government Units (LGUs).

“This is not about sports development. This is our way to instill unity, cooperation, commitment, discipline, and leadership among our youth. I think, napagtatagumpayan namin ang mission dahil after the Visayas leg in Iloilo, there were about 600 cadets who signified their intention to join for next year,” said Tolentino during a media conference on Sunday.

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