Daniela Reggie dela Pisa wraps herself with the Philippine flag during the awarding ceremony.
Joey Mendoza
Pinay gymnast survives cancer, clinches gold
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Already a champion by winning her battle with the Big C, young Filipina gymnast Daniela Reggie dela Pisa continued to show her indomitable spirit and now, she’s conquered the Southeast Asian Games.

The 16-year-old Dela Pisa, who bravely fought on after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer 10 years ago, struck gold in the hoops apparatus event of the rhythmic gymnastics competition before a roaring crowd at Rizal Memorial Coliseum yesterday.

“Sobrang happy,” said the comely Cebuana teen, who met her date with destiny when she netted a score of 17.750 for her jaw-dropping hoop routine, beating Malaysians Amzah Isah (16.5000) and Kawan Amy Dict  Weg (15.900) for the the mint.

Dela Pisa added two more podium finishes before the day’s end in the ball and club events, further rewarding her courageous fight out of sickness.

The newly-minted champ went through surgery and chemotherapy, recovered and insisted on getting back into the mat to pursue her passion.

“Akala ko hindi makakaya pero kinaya ko,” she related.

Now totally cancer-free, Dela Pisa said she hopes to be an inspiration to the youth, especially those stricken with the disease.

“Sana po maging inspiration,” said the teener, who first made waves in the Palarong Pambansa before cracking the national team this year.

She trained in Hungary for three months prior to the Games, giving a portent of things to come by winning the individual all-around event in the 2019 Magic Cup Rhythmoic Gymnastics.

And with a throng of Pinoy supporters led by her mother Darlene cheering her on, Daniela scored her breakthrough.

“Nakaka-shock. I didn’t expect na ganun ang score ko. It’s my first time to score that high,” she said of her winning mark in hoop.

Dela Pisa’s triumph sustained the momentum from the triumphant run of world champ Caloy Yulo, who collared two golds and five silvers in men’s artistics gymnastics (MAG) play.

DANIELA REGGIE DELA PISA GYMNAST
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