May 23, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian

The Lions Nation MMA kickboxers have emerged as champions in the 1st Pinget National High School Kickboxing Invitational Tournament on March 29 to 31.

The team ruled the inaugural event with a medal haul of four gold, four silver, and one bronze medals in the event attended by 185 athletes from 30 martial arts teams from Baguio City, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur, Tabuk City, and Nueva Vizcaya.

The team’s win was led by gold medal winners in the kicklight male category: Zyrian Raiden Basa in the 470-kilogram; Lee Aputher Sta. Ana, 52-kg.; Rilan Benbenen, 57-kg.; and Mollejon Mattan, 63-kg.

In second place was host team Pinget NHS Kafagway with three gold, three silver, and six bronze medals.

The gold medal wins in the kicklight were courtesy of Milan Manganip in the 37-kg; Charll Wayne Bannagao, 57-kg; and Vigo Dangiwan, 47-kg.

Baguio City National High School bagged the third place with three gold and three silver medals led by gold medalists Joelle Penaflor, female 46-kg; and Lee John Masedman, 63-kg category kicklight male; and Stephanie Lipiano, 42-kg. 

SNHS Kafagway Combative Club from Sablan, Benguet placed fourth with three gold, one silver, and six bronze medals led by its champions Janna Mae Tinay, Hart Jason Benwasen, and Dranreb Abad. 

Siklat Ampucao NHS took the fifth spot with its three golds, one silver, and one bronze with gold medalists Shandris Nganhayna, Lourene Fermin, and Valerie Bugtong.

The event, aimed at honing young athletes to become world-class athletes, was organized by Pinget NHS led by school head Lucia Casim and Sunshine Malateo as the tournament director, and Benjamin Diaz as project director.