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Grand Spectacle

The richest dart tournament in the history of Philippine darts - "The 38th Araw ng Agusan del Norte P400,000 National Darts Classic" - unfolded last June 17 to 19 in Cabadbaran, the provincial capital of Agusan del Norte. This is a project of Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John M. Amante and co-organized by the National Dart Foundation of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Agusan del Norte Capitol Darts Club.The P400,000 total cash prize is a historic breakthrough in prize money for a single dart tournament. The P100,000 purse is the first and only six-figure award given to the Open Singles champion. The event line-up included the the P40,000 Classified Draw Doubles, the P60,000 National Team Championship, the P45,000 Classified Draw Triples, the P50,000 Ladies' Singles, the P200,000 Open Singles and the P5,000 Free-Event National Youth Singles.

Highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the parade of over 300 darters representing the biggest number of cities and municipalities nationwide. A foreign delegation, the first ever in Mindanao, from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates composed of Filipino World and Asia Pacific Cuppers now playing under the Khalifa Trading Company was likewise present for the event.

Keynote speaker Governor Erlpe John M. Amante was greeted with a rousing round of applause as he announced an even bigger tounament for next year, the P500,000 Agusan del Norte National Darts Classic. NDFP president, Tito Soncuya, set the tone of the event as a celebration for a new level of excellence, respectability and recognition to the sports of darts in the Philippines.

38th Araw ng Agusan del Norte Singles Champions Jan-Jan Hinojales and Boie Parfan
with Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John M. Amante and NDFP President Tito Soncuya


To accomodate the large influx of darters, the tournament utilized a forty-six (46) dartboard set-up, the most ever in Philippine darts history.

The 501 Classified Draw Doubles 501 started after the Opening Ceremony. Local boy Joe Plaza of Agnor Capitol Dart Club and Andy Quijano of Dart Prints- Cagayan de Oro (CDO) emerged as champions from a field of 148 pairs (296 players).

The following day, with 53 teams in the Fixed Four-Person National Team Championship, Team La Tondeña – CDO composed of Lino Galgo, Bert Lozano, Boy Momo and Henry Rivera edged local favorite Team Butuan III of Vic Castañares, Orlando Navarro, Dodong Nollora and Mario Saclet with a 4-3 score.

Later that day, the Classified Draw Triples drew a total of 255 players or 85 three-man teams. The troika of Glean Espargoza of RPG Darts – Panabo (Davao del Norte), Mon Oliveros of Khalifa Trading Company (Abu Dhabi) and Eric Peñaranda of Iligan Darters (Lanao del Norte) emerged victorious over the team of Dodong Lumantao of Cebu Niños and local boys Carlo Burnea of Kajima Corporation and Dodong Nollora of Butuan Darts Club.

The single events showcased the final day of the tournament. The Open Singles saw big upsets as only two seeded players, World and Asia Cuppers Boie Parfan and Ricky Mijares of Robson advanced to the Top 16. Top seeded player Bert Lozano of Cagayan de Oro lost to Ronald Locsin of Tacurong Dart Club (Sultan Kudarat) while second seed Pabling Cadungog of the Dart Federation of Kutawato (Cotobato City) lost to Jun Bayawa of Carry All Dart Club of Sindangan (Zamboanga del Norte). Other seeded players like Noel Anino of Duterte Agila (Davao City) lost to Eric Peñaranda of the Iligan City Darters and Boy Melijor of GMC-Cagayan de Oro lost to Henry Suerto of the San Carlos City Darters (Negros Occidental). Many times Darter of the Year Dixie Ybanez, who now plays for Kahilifa Trading Company, was beaten by Romel Mijares of Duterte Aguila of Davao City.

Two-time World Cupper Boie Parfan of Robson Philippines dominated the Open Singles event. Enroute to the championship, Parfan dashed the hopes of the strong foreign contingent of the Khalifa Trading Company winning 4-0 over Saleh Alqubaisi in the early rounds, 4-1 over Mon Oliveros in the Top 16 and 5-0 over the last remaining Khalifa player Lourence Ilagan in the quarterfinals. In the elimination rounds, Parfan shut out 4-0 Mario Saclet of Butuan Darts Club and Ricky Santiago of Amber's Best (Makati City). Continuing his dominance, Parfan went on to beat Dodong Nollora of Butuan City 5-2 in the semifinals and trounced Rommel Bagotayao of Silay City, Negros Occidental playing for Globelines-Cebu with a score of 6-3 in the championship.

Whereas Bagotayao struggled going to the finals with wins over Andy Quijano of Cagayan de Oro and Marvin Mariano of Prosperidad, Agusan del Norte, Parfan showed a powerful display of 'dartsmanship" winning 32 legs/games and losing only 6 legs/games.

The top two lady darters of the Philippines, World and Asia Pacific Cupper Jan-Jan Hinojales of Robson-Davao City and nineteen year old prodigy An-An Awitan of Cagayan de Oro City met in the finals for the third time this year. It was a thrilling championship down the wire with Hinojales prevailing 5-4. Hinojales beat Sheila Braña of Koronadal Dart Club (South Cotobato) 4-2 while Awaitan overwhelmed Ging Martirez of Dartstorm (Quezon City) in the semifinals.

In the Youth Singles, sixteen year old Sherwin Diaz of Tagum Optimate Darters Organization (Davao del Norte) crushed fifteen year old Kokong Ponferrada of Trotters-CDO, 3-0. Sharing Joint 3rd places were Renante Quilo of the Cabadbaran Darters Association (Agusan del Norte) and Jarryd Ace Plaza of the Agnor Capitol Dart Club.

The tournament was a great revelation of the deep talents of the Filipino darters and the strenght of the new upcoming players wanting national exposure. Despite the presence of the major darting citites of Cagayan de Oro, Davao ,Cebu, Cotabato and Metro Manila, dart players from these cities were not able to dominate the tournament. Instead tournament money winners were dispersed to new talents comming from Butuan, Sindangan, Tacurong, Tagum, and Koronadal, to name a few. A sleeping giant has awakened in Mindanao. A new dart explosion and dart revival is happening in its country side.



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Updated October 3, 2005


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