The PSC Batang Pinoy National Youth Games Rugby (Touch) division was held last Saturday (October 19) at the Iba Zambales Sports Complex. This year marked the first time rugby was included in the Batang Pinoy list of sports/events. The event was held in conjunction with the CBRE Juniors Tournament for the month of October.
Six teams from all over the country travelled up north to Iba for this once a year event. A total of 70 young athletes born 1998 or later showed up bright and early last Saturday, to prove they are the best in the country. Quest SOS Children's Village, which represented Muntinlupa City, entered two teams for the tournament. Clark Rugby Club, which represented the province of Pampanga, were also present in the tournament. The G4S Child Hope Foundation kids from Blumentritt and Morayta streets, represented Manila. Cebu Junior Dragons and Davao Durians Juniors Rugby also flew to Manila to represent their respective cities. Jonel Madrona of the Junior Volcanoes Rugby 7s team and an athlete of the Clark Rugby Club, led the Oath of Sportsmanship of the young players.
Teams played a round robin tournament format, with a win equivalent to 3 points, a draw to 2 points, and a loss given a point. Teams were ranked after the round robin games and top 1 and 2 teams played against each other for the Gold, top 3 and 4 teams played for the Bronze, and number 5 and 6 for the tournament ranking. It was SOS Children's Village team B who ranked first with a total of 15 points (5 wins and no loss). Davao came in at second with a total of 12 points (3 wins, 1 draw, 1 and loss). Third rank was Clark Rugby Club with a total of 11 points (3 wins and 2 losses).
In the battle for fifth place, it was the junior ruggers from the Queen City of the South, who walked away with a win against the Child Hope Foundation. Cebu team scored 4 tries against Child Hope's 2 tries to finish at fifth place in the tournament. The Bronze finals game saw the Clark Rugby Club battle it out against the SOS Children's Village Team A. The kids from Pampanga ran away with 5 tries against none from the SOS kids to secure their podium finish.
The battle for Gold was definitely the most exciting game of the tournament. SOS Children's Village Team B and the Davao Durians Junior Rugby team were all out in their quest of being crowned the champions of the inaugural Batang Pinoy National Youth Games. PSC Commissioner Attorney Jose Luis "Jolly" Gomez was present at the sideline to cheer and support the teams and watch this milestone in Philippine Rugby grassroots development.
The first half of the game was a seesaw battle between these two teams. SOS scored first with the use of their quick drives and good vision of the gap. Davao answered back right away with their own version of a try using their quick passing abilities and natural agility. Both teams scored again in the next 2 minutes. The kids from Muntinlupa scored 2 unanswered tries in the last few minutes to seal their top podium finish. Final score was 4-2 for SOS Team B. Hats off to both teams for this very exciting match.
Thank you to the Philippine Sports Commission, PSC Commissioner Atty. Jolly Gomez, Municipality of Iba Zambales, and all the teams who participated in this year's tournament. Congratulations to all the winners and we hope to see you all next year!
Official Batang Pinoy results that are registered with the Philippine Sports Commission for 2013:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Quest SOS Children's Village Team B - Renzo Belo
Davao Durians Junior Rugby - Emil Fariñas
Clark Rugby Club - Aries Acuario
Quest SOS Children's Village Team A - EJ Ventura
Cebu Junior Dragons - Goldie Villarba
Child Hope - Rogelio Lito, Jr.
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