Charly Suarez provided the Philippines a relief from the burn of medal-less days, rousing from a fever in the morning to dominate his Iraqi foe and assure the country of at least a boxing bronze medal in the 17th Asian Games here.
Suarez hammered out a unanimous decision victory over Ammar Jabbar Hassan on Monday in their lightweight quarterfinal bout at Seonhak Gymnasium on a day when the country watched its beloved basketball squad sink to a new low and a track star potentially cement her retirement.
“It was only faith that carried me,” said Suarez, who had trouble sleeping early Monday morning as a frosty temperature descended on this bustling port city.
Once Suarez got untracked though, it was Hassan who did not feel well.
Suarez worked on the Iraqi’s abdomen en route to a semifinal berth against Obada Mohammad Mustafa Alkasbeh of Jordan on Wednesday.
Later in the evening, Wilfredo Lopez kept his own chances going with a unanimous decision victory over Iraq’s Waheed Abdulridha Waheed that wasn’t as close as the judges’ scorecards suggested.
“I felt it was a close fight but I just tried to show more energy to convince the judges,” said a sweat-dripping Lopez as he made his way out of the venue.
Lopez advanced to the quarterfinals of the middleweight division needing just one win to also be assured of a bronze medal.
He looked to be in trouble several times in the third but somehow managed enough activity to earn the nod of the judges, whose decisions stunned Waheed.
The adored Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team lost to China, 78-71, at Hwaseong Sports Complex gymnasium, relegating the Nationals to a battle for seventh place against Mongolia.
Gilas staged a scintillating fourth-quarter rally but the surprisingly resilient Chinese, whose average age is 22, held on.
The Nationals, who were aiming to end a five-decade-old gold-medal drought here, battle Mongolia on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m.
No golden moment
The golden moment that was predicted for Marestella Torres in the women’s long jump disappeared after she fouled her first three attempts at Incheon Asiad Main Stadium.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Torres, whose personal best of 6.71 meters was far better than the winning leap of Maria Natalia Londa of Indonesia.
Torres suffered the same foul-ridden stint four years ago, when her gold medal bid ended in a tearful contemplation of retirement.
Torres’ failure to medal—athletics chief Philip Ella Juico had earlier said she was a gold-medal potential—left the Philippines stranded at two silver and two bronze medals, still not counting the one Suarez is already assured of. If Suarez wins his semifinal bout, he will earn at least a silver medal.
Christopher Ulboc Jr. also failed to make a dent in the men’s steeplechase, finishing last in the nine-entry competition, also at Main Stadium.
The Blu Girls narrowly missed their game against Chinese Taipei, bowing to the Chinese by a mere point, 4-5, but still in contention for the page playoff and probably winning at least a bronze for the country.
Gilas Pilipinas lost to China,71-78, in the battle for the 5th to 8th place finish. With the loss, Gilas will face Mongolia to fight for the 7th place. A win or a loss against Mongolia would not change the fact that this year is the worst showing of Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Games history.
Before this edition of the Asian Games, Philippines lowest finish was 6th at the 1966 and 2010 Asian Games in Thailand and China.
In Bowling, the Men’s and Women’s Team of five are nowhere close to a medal finish after the first block of the competition. The second block of competition will be played today, and top 3 team finishers will be awarded with medals.
Philippines’ soft tennis team are off to a good start.
Netter Noelle Conchita Zoleta registered two wins and a loss at the women’s singles preliminary round, so as compatriot Joseph Arcilla.
Jhomar Arcilla on the other hand lost all his three games. But both Joseph and Jhomar still have 1 game to go today in their first round group game.
Boxers still in the hunt
The country’s medals count is built around the three from wushu (two silvers, one bronze) and one from archery (bronze).
Two other Filipino boxers still in the hunt—light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga and bantamweight Mario Fernandez—will also fight on Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
Barriga, who ousted the taller but awkward Tosho Kashiwasaki of Japan by unanimous decision last Sunday, battles Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan while Fernandez, coming off a 3-0 win over Puran Rai of Nepal in the round-of-16, takes on Shiva Thapa of India.
Also Tuesday, the country’s taekwondo jins try to contribute to the country’s medal push when four fighters see action at Ganghwa Dolmens gymnasium (See story below).
“Chances for gold is high,” said the 24-year-old Samuel Morrison, who will take on Yerzhan Abyylkas of Kazakhstan in the -74 kg class.
Softball’s Blu Girls came close to a huge upset before dropping a 5-4 decision to Chinese Taipei at Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium.
Source : Gerry Carpio | Philstar.com