Lapu-Lapu City’s Johari Elarcosa and Alexandra Nicole Gabrinez of San Carlos City on Thursday got their respective dreams going off in the right direction after ruling the secondary boys and girls billiards 8-ball event of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City.
A fan of the legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes, the 16-year-old Elarcosa dumped the heavily-favored John Carlo Miraflor, 6-4 before declaring that a career as a professional pool shark is what he is aiming for.
“It’s a dream to become a professional pool player someday. I have watched Tatay Efren play and I want to be like him,’’ said Elarcosa, who pulled off a 5-2 upset of the 18-year-old Bernie Regalario of Paranaque City in the semifinals.
Gabrinez, meanwhile, bared that she wants to become a member of the national team after trouncing 17-year-old Lea Mae Galla of Saranggani, 6-0, in their race-to-six, gold-medal match.
“I’d never won a tournament before. I’m really happy with what I achieved,’’ said Gabrinez in Filipino after arranging the finals with Galla following a 5-1 rout of Palawan’s Mariah Asuque in the semifinals.
Gabrinez was just five years old when she first handled a cue stick. Now, she hopes to go all the way to representing the country in international meets.
“I want to play for the national team someday. I have to win more tournaments to achieve that,’’ said the 16-year-old incoming Grade 11 at the Julio Ledesma National High School.
Elarcosa, meanwhile, started playing when he was six. He is likewise favored to win the boys’ 9-ball event, with Gabrinez also a pick to win the distaff sided.
“I hope to get lucky, too, in the 9-ball,’’ said Elarcosa.
Over at the STI Gold Toe Archery Center in Marikina City, Naina Dominique Tagle snared four gold medals in secondary girls’ recurve archery with victories in the 30 meters (m), 50m, 60m and 1440 round.
The 16-year-old deadeye from Central Visayas scored a record-setting 327-point output in defeating National Capital Region’s (NCR) Venice Garcia, who settled for the silver medal with 313 points.
Central Luzon’s Faith Novesteras took the bronze with 312 points.
Tagle’s only defeat out of five events came in the 70m, which Garcia ruled with a 310 against Tagle’s 306.
Novesteras placed second behind Tagle in the 30m, 50m and 1440 rounds.
In taekwondo at the St. Scholastica’s Academy Marikina, NCR’s Maverick Valmonte subdued Central Luzon’s Alexus Jasmin, 3-0, in the finals of the secondary boys taekwondo 45-kilogram (kg) category and Hannah Dello of Western Visayas ruled the secondary girls 42kg division.
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