Pescos topples Tillor for Milo title

By: Glendale G. Rosal September 25,2016 - 09:43 PM
Rafael Pescos from Negros Occidental leads the race in the 21-kilometer race of the 40th National Milo Marathon-Cebu Leg.  (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Rafael Pescos from Negros Occidental leads the race in the 21-kilometer race of the 40th National Milo Marathon-Cebu Leg.
(CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Coming off a knee injury that stalled his running career for a year, Rafael Pescos returned with a bang, scoring an upset against reigning champion Noel Tillor in the 21-kilometer race of the 40th National Milo Marathon-Cebu Leg yesterday.

The 22-year-old Pescos, a native of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, crossed the finish line at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) in one hour, 14 minutes and one second to bag the men’s 21k title and book a seat to the national finals slated Dec. 4 in Iloilo.

Also qualifying was women’s 21k champion Ruffa Sorongon, who logged a new personal best of 1:26.07, eclipsing her previous record of 1:29.05.

The Bogo City, Cebu native Tillor finished third with a time of 1:17.23, just seconds behind second place Michael Largo, who clocked 1:17.03.

The men’s race, however, was marred with a bit of controversy when Tillor, 31, alleged there was betting going on in the race. He aired his frustrations on his Facebook account, saying this was the reason why he was distracted during the race and eventually lost.

“I did it in purpose not to run in my pace. I did this so that those who are using these kids and teaching them about this (betting) will be happy,” Tillor said in a chat with Cebu Daily News.

He said he learned about this a day before the race from fellow runners who train at the CCSC oval. He said those involved were coaches and runners.

“This is not a good example for the running community. I don’t run to gain popularity and I do not run for gambling. I run for good reasons, to serve the community. I am a community coach for seven years already and I inspire children. I even do it for free,” Tillor, the reigning Cebu
Marathon 42k men’s champion, said. “I really don’t like [what they’re doing]. They don’t understand the meaning of sports.”

Pescos, however, believes he beat Tillor fair and square and said he has no idea about the betting that the veteran racer is talking about.

“I think he did not train well for this race. Someone told me that he trained very late for this race,” Pescos said. “I trained hard for this race and I know that I can beat him. I beat him a lot of times before in local races but I stopped running for a year to recover from my knee injury.”
Ricky Ballesteros, head organizer of the race, also said he didn’t know of any betting going on. But he said he will have the matter investigated.

“Maybe those are just reasons coming from those who lost,” Ballesteros said. “Betting for fun is normal but if it involves millions, that is something to investigate.”

According to Tillor, the money involved reached more than P10,000. When told about this, Ballesteros said, “Like what I said, I will conduct an investigation about this.”

Cresabel Cadion placed second to Sorongon with a time of 1:32.14 followed by Sandra Soliano, who clocked 1:45.26.

Winners in the 10k race were Kenyan Abraham Kilimo (33:02) and UC’s Karla Cosep (49:52).

First timer wins

USC-BED’s Mary Joy Loberanis (18:45) and USPF’s John Cliff Debolusan (16:15) defended their respective titles in the 5k race.

In the 3k race, winners were Kent Lloyd Gabiño of Balamban town, southwest Cebu and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s Moira Frances Erediano.

The 11-year-old Gabiño, a first timer in the race, surprised everyone when he topped the boys race despite getting lost more than once during the race.

He finished with the time of 11:17. Erediano in 11:58, dethroning last year’s champion Jessel Ochia of Barangay Guba Elementary School, who placed second with a time of 12:18.

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TAGS: Cebu CIty Sports Center, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental

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