Pinoy boxers marched to the next round without the deafening cheers, taking upon their shoulders a mission to save what is left of Philippine pride and honor as Filipinos continued to flounder on all fronts, the biggest letdown coming from the Gilas Pilipinas’ loss to Qatar in the basketball competitions of the 17th Asian Games here.
Reigning Southeast Asian Games champion Mario Fernandez outclassed Puran Rai of Nepal, 3-0, in an explosive performance that sent him to the quarterfinal of the bantamweight division of the boxing events.
Joining him in the Last 8 is Charly Suarez who scored a split decision over Akhmil Kumar of India, 2-1, in the lightweight division.
“The boxers are always our gold medal hopes in tournaments of this level,” said Philippines Sports Commission chairman and chief of mission Richie Garcia.
“We remain undaunted even if the gold medals have yet to come our way. The boxers are still there, the taekwondo jins, the karatekas, our golfers, our BMX riders. The gold medals could come late but we will welcome those triumphs, of course,” said Garcia.
The biggest hurt to Philippine pride was the loss of Gilas Pilipinas in the first game of the quarterfinals late last night.
The loss put the Filipinos in a must-win situation over a dangerous Korean team which will be playing on home turf before a boisterous home crowd today. A loss sends the Filipinos home while a win must be followed with another against Kazakhstan tomorrow.
As the Philippines groped for medals of any color, Southeast Asian neighbors surged ahead in the medal race.
Malaysia and Myanmar had two gold medals each, while Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand had one each. Indonesia has no gold but is ahead of the Philippines with 3-5 silver-bronze medals against the Philippines’ 0-2-1 and Laos’ 0-1-1.
As of late Friday afternoon, China was way above the rest with 87-47-36, with Korea a far second with 30-37-34, and Japan third with 28-37-34.
The lady golfers slid to fourth place in women’s team competition but hope to catch up on the opposition as US Junior golf champion Princess Superal vows to bounce back in today’s third round.
The male golfers are ninth in team competition and are way behind in individual play.
The mixed pair finished sixth in the triathlon after medal-less efforts in the men’s and women’s events.
The Philippines aimed for medals in bowling but the women’s doubles squad of Anne Marie Kiac and Liza Clutario managed only 11th place in Squad A, while Liza del Rosario and Marian Lara Posadas placed 12th in Squad B.
In swimming, Jasmine Alkhadi and Joshua Hall bowed out medal less from the medal-rich event of swimming as early as the morning heats.
Earlier in the day, Garcia fired the salvo on Mark Joseph and his PhilSwimming, Inc., whose swimmers failed to advance to the finals in any of the seven events they participated in at the close of swimming competitions yesterday.
Garcia expressed alarm over the deterioration of the sport which produced only three national swimmers out of its swimming program funded by the PSC.
The Philippines also failed to go beyond the heats in the Olympics and had four bronze medals in the 2013 Myanmar Games after organizers ordered a re-swim following a false start by Jasmine Alkhaldi in the 100m freestyle finals.
“We should meet with Mark,” said Garcia. “We want to know how the PSI would plot a program to better its standing among national sports associations.”
The men’s doubles team of Ruben Gonzales and Treat Huey defeated Macau’s Chan Chi Neng, 6-0, 6-3, to make up for the losses incurred by the mixed doubles pairings of Gonzales and Katharina Lehnert, and Huey and Denise Dy.
By : Gerry Carpio (The Philippine Star) |