Suarez makes Asiad finals appearance; Sembrano wins bronze


Boxer Charly Suarez gets a crack at the elusive gold medal after outpointing Mohammad Mustafa Obada Alkasbeh of Jordan Thursday in the 2014 Asian Games at the Seonhak gymnasium.

Suarez, the 26-year-old lightweight, won the bout that could have gone either way as the Jordanian turned the fight into an entertaining slugfest.

“We couldn’t move in right away because of the jabs,” said national coach Nolito Velasco.

Suarez, who won on split decision, 2-1, assailed the Jordanian for his underhanded tricks.

“He keeps on pushing,” Suarez rued. “So had to clinch a lot. It helped in a way because I did not tire right away.”

The Jordanian won the first and third rounds in one of the three scorecards. Two other judges saw Suarez winning all rounds.

Both fighters went at each other in the second round as Alkasbeh abandoned the jabs that gave Suarez a lot of trouble.

“When he got hit, he may have gotten hurt that’s why he forgot all about his jab,” Velasco said. “He decided to exchange.”

The street brawl turned the tide as Suarez won most of the exchanging, scoring on straights and a few uppercuts.

Suarez said he beats the Jordanian to the punch because his punches were coming from the outside.

Two other fighters – light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga, bantamweight Mario Fernandez and middleweight Wilfredo Lopez – hope to join Suarez later Thursday.

For the third straight day, the Philippines was foiled to send a fighter in the final in taekwondo. Benjamin Keith Sembrano won his first two bouts in the men’s -68-kilogram division, but was outclassed in the semifinals by Huang Jiannan of China, 16-3, in just two rounds.

Sembrano, 19, hurt his right leg 13 seconds into the first round, interrupting the fight briefly as medical personnel applied pain-killers.

When the fight resumed, Sembrano received a head kick from the aggressive Huang.

The Filipino winced in pain again just before the end of the first round after getting hit in the left hamstring.

The bout was stopped after the Chinese connected with another head kick.

Sembrano had earlier beaten Hasan Abdullah of Kuwait and Chetrapee Tangjai of Thailand.

He settled for the bronze medal – the Philippines’ sixth in the Games.

The Filipinos also have one gold and two silvers.

Jane Rafaelle Narra, the other jin who saw action, lost to Chinese Yunfei Guo, 5-0, in the women’s -67-kg. quarterfinals.

At the close of the bowling event, Marie Alexis Sy finished last in the 16-player women’s Masters event, rolling 2953, 521 pins behind gold medal winner Lee Nayoung who led a 1-2 South Korean sweep.

In karate, Orencio James Virgil delos Santos was ousted by Cheng Tsz Man Chris, 4-1, in the men’s kata Round of 16.

In rugby, the Philippine Volcanoes whitewashed Thailand, 45-0, and were set to face China for fifth place later in the day.

With two days remaining, China now has a total of 136 golds, 93 silvers and 77.

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