With Alice Kate Aparri on the sideline, The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap) doesn’t see her absence in Myanmar SEA Games as one less gold medal for the country.
“Not necessarily. In this sport, nobody’s sure of the gold,” said Abap executive director Ed Picson after it was reported that Aparri, a three-time SEA Games champion, got pregnant.
Chosen to take place Aparri’s slot at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar is last year’s flyweight gold medalist at the 2nd Taipei City International Boxing Tournament, Irish Magno.
According to Picson, flyweight Irish Magno can move up in weight and fill the void left by Aparri.
“She is less experienced, but I’m sure she’ll go for it,” said Picson.
Aparri, who got married in April, is also a two-time bronze medalist in the Aiba Women’s World Championship in 2006 (India) and 2010 (Barbados).
A native of Benguet, the 29-year-old Aparri topped the 51 kg class (flyweight) during the 2005 (Manila), 2009 (Laos) and 2011 (Indonesia) editions of the biennial meet.
“We felt good chances with Kate. She told me it’s going to be her last hurrah, then she got pregnant,” said Picson.
In SEA Games basketball, Jong Uichico will be back at the helm of the Philippine national men’s basketball team for the Myanmar SEA Games.
He confirmed the development in a text message to InterAKTV.
“It’s always an honor to represent the country in any way possible,” he said.
Uichico led the Philippine team, composed of a select pool reinforced by members of Gilas Pilipinas, to the gold medal last year in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association.
He was also part of the coaching staff of the Gilas squad that won the silver medal in the FIBA Asia Championship last month.
“I like serving the national team regardless of capacity. It’s good for my knowledge,” he added.
Uichico’s team to the Southeast Asian Games is expected to include top talent from the amateur ranks, including those from the national cadet pool. They will be defending the title won in 2011 by the Sinag Pilipinas squad led by naturalized center Marcus Douthit and coached by Norman Black.
“It would be better if it would be reinforced by PBA players of course,” he said, adding that he hasn’t drawn up a wishlist of players he wants on the team.
“Kagabi lang kasi ako sinabihan kaya hindi ko pa alam.”