In a quadrennial games where defeats are aplenty and victories come in trickles for the Philippine team, Tuesday’s triumphs were enough to give the delegation a feel-good moment.
Wushu again delivered for the country, this time with Daniel Parantac bagging a silver medal in the men’s taijiquan event of the 17th Asian Games at Ganhwa Dolmens Gymnasium here.
Gilas Pilipinas got off to a rousing— however erratic—start in men’s basketball competition, holding off a stubborn and hot-shooting India five, 85-76, at Hwaseong Sports Complex gymnasium, even as the country’s archers backed an optimistic outlook by one of their sport’s officials by performing creditably in the men’s compound classification round.
“We came here to try and shock the world,” said archery secretary general Clint Aranas. “We are the David against the Goliaths of the sport but we will go all out to try and win a gold medal because we prepared hard for this event.”
Paul dela Cruz validated Aranas’ show of optimism, jumping to a share of an early lead before settling for fourth place and qualifying for the 64-man knockout finals. Dela Cruz shot 701 points, nine shy of the pacesetting Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran.
The spate of positive developments made up for the lackluster performance of the men’s bowling squad in the singles.
Bowling was one of the sports touted to chalk up a medal for the Philippine delegation at Anyang Hogye gymnasium.
The day belonged to Parantac, who compiled 19.26 points behind China’s Chen Zhouli, who ran away with the gold with 19.55. Parantac and Chen were actually tied based on quality of management and degree of difficulty, but the Chinese edged the Filipino in overall performance.
The bronze went to Nyein Chan Ko Ko of Burma (Myanmar) who tallied 19.24.
Later in the night, Jean Claude Saclag assured the Philippines of yet another silver medal when he beat Narendar Grewal of India in the -60 kg semifinals of men’s sanda in wushu. He shoots for the Philippines’ first gold medal Wednesday.
Francisco Solis officially settled for the bronze after withdrawing from his semifinal bout against China’s Zhao Fuziang due to a fractured rib, according to wushu secretary general Julian Camacho.
Gilas Pilipinas is shooting for gold here and after opening the game with a 16-0 run, the Filipinos dropped their guard and committed error after error, allowing the Indians to make several runs in different stages of the game.
“Except for opening the game with a 16-0 run, I think the Indians beat us the rest of the way,” said national coach Chot Reyes, whose wards committed 20 turnovers. “I’m happy that we won but I’m not happy at how we played.”
Boxing’s draw carried an air of mystery about it. The country’s boxing federation got hold of the pairings but have yet to receive the schedule of the bouts or the names of the pugs the Filipinos will face.
“It was not a shabby draw,” said Abap secretary general Ed Picson. “Overall, based on what we know, it was a somewhat good draw, maybe a 7.5 out of 10.”
Light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga will face Syrian Hussin Al-Marin, Ian Clark Bautista battles Abdallah Maher Mohammad Shamon of Jordan, Mario Fernandez takes on Thai Donchai Thathi, Dennis Galvan tests Mongolia’s Battarsukh Chinzorig, Wilfredo Lopez takes on Turkmenistan’s Azizbek Achilov and lightweight Charlie Suarez duels with Elnur Abduraimov.
The women’s team will have Josie Gabuco clashing with Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu Ting while Nesthy Petecio takes on Kazakhstan’s Gulzhaina Ubbiniyazova.
Barriga, Fernandez and Galvan kick off the Philippine bid. Fights start at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. in Manila) Wednesday at Seonhak Gymnasium.
At Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field, other archers also put themselves in good position for the finals on Saturday as Earl Benjamin Yap placed 19th, Ian Chipeco 25th and Jose Ferdinand Adriano 30th.
Jasmine Alkhadi was fifth fastest in her heat in the women’s 100m butterfly, finishing in one minute and 2.34 seconds but missed the final after finishing ninth.
The men’s doubles sculls team of Roque Abala, Jr. and Alvin Amposta, meanwhile, also failed to qualify for the final after failing in the repechage.
In bowling, Frederick Ong was the best-placed Filipino in the singles with 1,228 pinfalls, good only for 18th place. Enrico Hernandez was at 23rd (1,215), Kenneth Chua at 48th (1171), Benshir Layoso at 54th (1160) and defending champion Biboy Rivera at 55th (1158).