Sons of legendary Filipino athletes took strides in following the illustrious careers of their parents in the 2011 Batang Pinoy National Finals in Naga City.
Jamil Joseph Sebastian, son of the late Jaime Sebastian, led Zamboanga’s onslaught in weightlifting while brothers Rafael and Robert Jalnaiz from Misamis Oriental, children of two-time Olympian Roberto Jalnaiz stepped closer to a gold medal after overcoming separate rivals in the boxing competitions Tuesday.
Sebastian claimed the 44kg. weight category joining Elbert Atilano (46kg), Joseph Dinglasan (56kg), Rosanno Mendoza (40kg), John Kyle Macrohon (56kg), Patricia Ann Gregorio (48kg) and Lyann Pineda in Zamboanga’s assault in weightlifting.
Rafael, 12, beat Mark Lloyd Buban of Laguna in the minimumweight division semifinal. Not to be outdone is Robert as he advanced to the paperweight class finals against Samuel Lontayao of Manila.
Rafael and Roberto are heavy favorites to win the gold after their conquest in the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines junior championship.
Aboitiz and Daniel Maamo (light paperweight) and Fresco Carcosa (flyweight) also made it to the finals for Misamis Oriental.
Tayabas, meanwhile, is also right in the mix with EJ Nares (minimumweight), Rammel Openera (light paperweight) and Jessie Diaz (light flyweight) all through in the finals.
In other events, John Edgard Reyes and Joela De Vera captured the boys and girls singles titles in badminton while Gerald Sagaad and Dexter Opalla and Paola Beatriz Bernardo and Ingrid Obnial took the boys doubles and girls doubles gold.
Baguio dominated the wrestling event with eight gold medals with Zamboanga in close second with seven.
The Batang Pinoy national finals is organized by Philippine Sports Commission with major backers SMART, Maynilad and Summit Mineral Drinking Water with other sponsors Standard Insurance, MILO, Jollibee, Negros Navigation, RELIV Now for Kids, Growee Multivitamins and the British Council.