In the realm of campus sports where passion and dedication converge, a shining constellation of gold medal successes has illuminated the path of Visayas State University’s (VSU) Salingkusog 2023 which ended on Friday, September 22. In this feature article, we celebrate the success stories that unfolded during the recent university-wide Intramurals Games, highlighting the shining gold medal performances that left participants and spectators in awe.

Basketball Blitz: Unstoppable Offense Leads to Victory

Basketball enthusiasts were treated to an unforgettable spectacle when the Greyhounds of VSU Tolosa showcased their unstoppable offense on the court. Led by Carl Briones, wearing #8 for the Greyhounds, performed admirably, scoring 19 points against difficulty. Briones downplayed his MVP award, instead crediting the team's overall effort for a well-deserved victory. Their fast-paced, high-scoring style of play made them a force to be reckoned with. They swept through the competition with their incredible three-point shooting and court vision, ultimately securing a gold medal and the admiration of fans and opponents alike.

In a captivating Women's Basketball Championship clash, the Greyhounds from VSU Tolosa clinched the gold with a 69-62 victory over defending champs, the Growling Guardians. The standout player, Shanyl Bico, delivered an astonishing 25 points, playing a pivotal role in the Greyhounds' championship win. In an interview with the Amaranth, Bico expressed that it was the team's strategy in playing that guided them to victory.

Volleyball Victory: Teamwork Triumphs Over All

Volleyball enthusiasts from men and women in satellite campuses brought their A-game to the intramural court as they devoured the game and ruled the said event from both men and women category. 

The volleyball court became a battlefield for camaraderie and teamwork as the Greyhounds of Tolosa men's volleyball team triumphed in style. Their synergy was unmatched, and their relentless pursuit of excellence was evident in every powerful spike and precise set. In the gold medal match, they overcame a tenacious opponent with grace and determination, proving that in intramural sports, it's not just about the individual but the collective spirit that propels a team to greatness. Meanwhile, the Cyber Warriors of VSU Isabel ignited euphoria among their supporters as they left nothing on the table, overcoming the tenacious Regal Minokawa in a thrilling five-setter match for the college-level women's volleyball championship.

Baseball Brilliance: Pitching Perfection and Grand Slams

Across the way on the baseball diamond, the Valiant Gladiators were living up to their name. Their pitchers delivered masterful performances, striking out batter after batter, while their batters had a knack for hitting grand slams in crucial moments. In the gold medal showdown, they faced a formidable rival, but their relentless pursuit of excellence paid off as they claimed the championship. 

Softball Supremacy: Precision and Power at the Plate

On the softball diamond, the Cyber Warriors showcased a perfect blend of precision and power. Their star pitcher's devastating curveballs kept opponents guessing, while their batters displayed impeccable timing at the plate. The gold medal game was a true spectacle, featuring clutch hits and remarkable defensive plays. The Cyber Warriors emerged victorious, proving that in softball, it's not just about strength but also about strategy and finesse.

Football Sensation: Underdogs Rise to Glory

The intramural football field witnessed a breathtaking upset as the underdog Cyber Warriors of VSU Isabel clinched the gold medal. Facing formidable opponents throughout the tournament, they showcased an unwavering spirit and teamwork that left fans on the edge of their seats. In a thrilling final match, they overcame a two-goal deficit, ultimately prevailing in a penalty shootout. Their journey from underestimation to triumph serves as a testament to the unpredictable magic of intramural sports.

The momentum gained was maintained and bolstered by the spectacular performance of #3 Mikent Jay Balbero, who exhibited remarkable prowess in the second half, notching another goal and eventually ensuring their grip on the championship trophy. Remarkably, throughout the tournament, Balbero's astounding performance culminated in a total of 6 goals, earning him the coveted MVP title in the game. 

Futsal Fervor: Skillful Footwork and Fast-Paced Action

In the world of indoor football, the Growling Guardians showcased skillful footwork and lightning-fast plays. Their precise passing and dribbling left opponents struggling to keep up. In the gold medal match, they went head-to-head with another skilled team, thrilling spectators with their agility and teamwork. Countless goal attempts were delivered by Sylvan Dragons during game two to seal the game until the momentum shifted when Player #3 Martinez scored the much-needed goal of the Guardians resulting in their victory. 

Sepak Takraw Spectacle: A Fusion of Football and Volleyball

The Sylvan Dragons' pride Zairel Beltran, Ivan Bulawan, and Cyrel Gofredo brought a fusion of soccer and volleyball to the court with their Sepak Takraw prowess. Their acrobatic kicks and precise spikes were a sight to behold. In the gold medal showdown, they exhibited incredible athleticism, ultimately outperforming their rivals. The Growling Guardians in the Women’s Category displayed the same athleticism as they dominated with a gold finish, outplaying each of their opponents.


Badminton Brilliance: Precision and Speed on the Court

On the badminton court, the Growling Guardian for men and the Sylvan Dragons for women displayed unmatched precision and speed. Their lightning-fast rallies and powerful smashes left spectators in awe. In the gold medal match, they showcased their incredible endurance and concentration, earning a hard-fought victory. 

Table Tennis Triumph: Lightning-Fast Reflexes

The Sylvan Dragon men's John Rey Timkang and Valiant Gladiators for women Deina Carrasco dominated the table tennis arena with their lightning-fast reflexes and impeccable spin control. In the doubles match, the Warriors tried a comeback but fell short as the Dragons' Montemayor and Tabugon staged a surprising turnaround to clinch a 3-2 triumph. Their intense rallies and strategic play captivated onlookers. In the gold medal match, they faced a fierce opponent and demonstrated their unwavering determination to secure victory. 

Tennis Tenacity: Battle of thrilling rallies

It was the grit and grind effort of the marvelous team from the Sylvan Dragons Men’s Tennis team, composed of players from the College of Management and Economics and College of Forestry and Environmental Science– who dominated the entire event to clinch a top 1 finish.

The Regal Minokawa of the College of Education and College of Veterinary Medicine remained unfazed despite tough opponents and unfavorable weather as they withstood every obstacle that stood in their way to an astounding first-place finish, toppling every strong competition in their bracket.

Track and Field Titans: Speed, Strength, and Stamina

Track and field events saw a display of sheer athleticism and determination, with standout athletes setting records and claiming gold medals. From sprinting to tracks to grueling to the field, competitors pushed their limits, leaving spectators astonished.

The Greyhounds continued their track and field dominance, securing gold medals in both men's and women's 4x100 Meter Relay events. Standout performances included Lumbre's gold in the 100-meter dash, Tiusen's victories in the 1500-meter and 800-meter dashes, and Limpin's gold in the 800-meter dash. Aljhon Corton clinched gold in the 5000-meter dash, following his earlier triumph in the 3000-meter dash. VSU Tolosa maintained its top position in track and field, consistently outpacing the competition and adding more medals to their impressive collection.

Jane Frinces Estremos shone in the Women's Javelin Throw, earning gold for the Sylvan Dragons with a remarkable 17.73-meter throw. Meanwhile, Arbie Adrales and Erwin Bingco Jr. of the Greyhounds asserted their dominance in the men's javelin event. 

In the Triple Jump, Reynalene Gomez of the Valiant Gladiators leaped to gold with an impressive 8.66 meters. Lyndon Castillo of the Growling Guardians showcased his prowess with a 10.73-meter jump, securing gold for his team. 


Swimming Sensations: Records Shattered in the Pool

In the serene waters of the pool, the Valiant Gladiators made waves with their remarkable swimming performances, swiftly ascending to the pinnacle of the Men's and Women's Swimming contest, securing an impressive tally of 12 gold, 10 silver, and 1 bronze medals across 40 categories. Records were shattered as they demonstrated unparalleled speed and technique in various swimming disciplines. 

Taekwondo triumph: kicks and discipline

The Taekwondo Poomsae competition left spectators ecstatic with its display of precision and artistry. Lizbeth, representing the Valiant Gladiators, enchanted the audience with a golden performance in the Individual Women's event.

In the Poomsae Men's event, Parilla from the Regal Minokawa delivered an awe-inspiring performance, earning well-deserved recognition. In the Mixed Pair Poomsae, Bien Parilla and Javier's exceptional teamwork in martial artistry earned Regal Minokawa the coveted gold.

The team performances were a symphony of unity and discipline. The Valiant Gladiators, represented by Abarientos, Emperado, and Ocier, moved in harmony, earning them the top spot on the podium. 

Chess Checkmate: Strategic Brilliance

On the cerebral battlefield of chess, the Valiant Gladiators demonstrated strategic brilliance as they asserted their Chess dominance, clinching the Men's Chess title with an impressive team score of 23 points in 7 rounds of exceptional play. Their games were a testament to careful planning, foresight, and deep thinking. In the gold medal match, they outwitted their opponents with precision moves, ultimately achieving a checkmate and the top prize. Individual honors went to Wilbert Anadia (Valiant Gladiators) as Best Player on Board 1, and Jomari Elbiña (Griffins) as Best Player on Board 2. Albert James Garces and Arvee Malquisto (Valiant Gladiators) were recognized as Best Players on Boards 3 and 4, respectively.

Arnis Artistry: Martial Skill and Tradition

In the martial art of Arnis, the Cyber Warriors from VSU Isabel asserted their dominance, emerging as the gold medalists, outperforming six competing factions as they showcased a unique blend of martial skill and cultural tradition. Their synchronized strikes with sticks and knives were a sight to behold. Standout moments included the Cyber Warriors' consecutive default victories in Synchronous Categories, Lance Denver Villero's five gold medals in Anyo Individual Categories, Richele Quilantang's mesmerizing Arnis Anyo Routine, and the valiant performance of Mike Matthew Gapasin despite an injury. These exceptional athletes are now potential representatives for VSU in the upcoming State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) 8, hosted by VSU in October. 

Frisbee Finesse: Disc-Throwing Excellence

In the world of ultimate frisbee, the Growling Guardians took flight with incredible speed and precision. Their teamwork and pinpoint throws made them a formidable force on the field. In the gold medal game, they engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth match, securing victory with a spectacular last-minute catch. Angelie May Escuadra emerged as the standout player, displaying remarkable strength with three defensive scores, four assists, and one goal. 

The university-wide intramural games celebrate diversity and skill, uniting athletes from varied backgrounds in a display of passion and dedication. From Taekwondo's precision to chess' strategy, Arnis' martial artistry, and frisbee's agility, these athletes exemplify sportsmanship and human potential. These games reveal that there's a sporting path for everyone, with gold medals symbolizing not just victory, but the wealth of talents within intramural sports. Intramurals, often overshadowed by pro sports, offer a unique beauty. They remind us that true victory isn't just about trophies but about unwavering dedication. 

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