MANILA – Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz led the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) monthly achievers for December 2022.
The 31-year-old from Zamboanga City swept the women’s 55kg. category at the 88th International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.
She lifted 93kg. in the snatch and 114kg. in the clean-and-jerk for a total of 207kgs. in the first qualifying meet for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
With her category excluded in Paris, Diaz decided to move up to 59kg., hoping to making it to the competition proper and giving the Philippines another medal.
In collegiate basketball, Ateneo de Manila University defeated University of the Philippines, 75-68, to claim the UAAP men’s title at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, while Letran clobbered College of St. Benilde, 81-67, to claim its third consecutive men’s crown at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
In volleyball, Petro Gazz Angels banked on American import Lindsey Van Derweid to clinch the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced title over Cignal HD Spikers at the Philsport Arena.
Petro Gazz, coached by Rald Ricafort, won Game 1 (25-21, 27-25, 37-36) and finished the best-of-three title series in Game 2 (25-17, 22-25, 12-25, 25-21). Van Derweide earned the MVP Finals and Best Foreign Guest Player awards while teammate Mar-Jana Philips was named Best Middle Blocker.
In the V-League Collegiate Men’s tournament, National University outplayed University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21, in their final showdown at the the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards bagged the Season 4 title of the Maharlika Basketball League after posting a 69-65 victory over the Zamboanga Family Brand Sardines in Game 4 of their best-of-5 title series at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Zamboanga City.
Byron Villarias led the Vanguards with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two steals to win the Best Player of the Game and Most Valuable Player Finals awards.
In boxing, Manny Pacquiao won over South Korean mixed martial arts fighter DK Woo in a goodwill exhibition match at the Korea International Exhibition Center in Seoul.
The Batang Pinoy National Championships was held online and on-site in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It was the last project of Philippine Sports Commission chairman Jose Emmanuel ‘Noli’ Eala before he was replaced Richard ‘Dickie’ Bachmann, a former professional basketball player.
Edward Hayco and Walter Torres were appointed as PSC commissioners. Hayco was former chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission while Torres, was a former national fencer and Philippine Paralympic Committee secretary general. (PNA)