As gold medal chances begun to fall one by one right in front of them, the Philippine national wrestlers managed to salvage 3 bronze medals today in the 27th Southeast Asian Games in N.I.S (1), Yangon, Myanmar.
All three SEA Games newbiews, Joseph Angana, Jhonny Morte and Alvin Lobrequito, were off to a good start in their first match, but later on faltered in their 2nd matches, only to bounce back again in their third match to salvage a bronze medal each today.
Joseph Angana, the younger brother of Margarito Angana Jr., won his first match in the round robin format of the men’s freestyle 66kg category, where he beat Phonkham Sengbolivoun of Laos.
In his next match against Indonesian Ricky Fajar Adi Saputra, he was clearly overpowered by the Indonesian and bowed down, 0-7, via superiority.
For him to keep his medal prospect alive, he had to beat his third opponent, Burmese Win Hlaing Htwe.
Lucky enough, he beat the host by superiority, 9-0, gaining an opportunity to win the gold medal in his next match against unbeaten Tuan Anh Bui of Vietnam. He had to pin the Vietnamese to win the gold medal. But the Vietnamese proved too strong for Angana. He bowed down in the first round, 7-0 by superiority, and settled for the bronze.
In 60kg Freestyle event, Johnny Morte beat Vansalong Phiathep of Laos in the quarterfinal match, but lost to Iabal Muhammad of Indonesia in the semifinals, 13-3, with the Indonesian winning by superiority.
Fighting for bronze in the repechage, Morte gave his all and beat Thailand’s Jirawat Iamsamang, 7-4, to clinch the bronze medal in the men’s freestyle 60kg categor.
Alvin Lobrequito on the other hand was also able to hurdle his quarterfinal bout in the 55kg freestyle event, winning over Thailand’s Siriphong Champakham, 14-5, by superiority. But with the same fortune as Morte, he also bowed down to Vietnam’s Huy Ha Nguyen. Lobrequito was said to have scored first but was reversed, and was eventually pinned by his Vietnamese opponent.
In the repechage round for bronze, Alvin Lobreguito beat a friend and regular visitor Gabriel Huang from Singapore, 6-2, by fall.
So far, Philippine wrestling team has won two silvers and three bronze medals.
Tomorrow, flag bearer Jason Balaban who won a silver medal in the Greco-Roman 84kg event last Tuesday, will try his luck and gun for the gold medal in the 84kg freestyle event.