PH boxers gain more than just experience
Taipei—They were supposed to be here only for experience and exposure. Instead they got more than what they bargained for.
The PLDT-ABAP national boxing team, composed entirely of first timers in international competition, pulled off a stunning surprise as five Filipino finalists came away with gold medals in the 2nd Taipei City Cup International Boxing Tournament at the Taiwan Coliseum.
Maricris Igam (48 kg), Irish Magno (51 kg), Rogen Ladon (49 kg), Mario Fernandez (56 kg) and Joel Bacho (64 kg) all came up with convincing victories to give the Philippines the most number of medals in the tournament.
“This validates what we have been saying all along,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas, also the head of Maynilad Water Corporation. “We have a vibrant grassroots development program that has identified the best potentials from the countryside. These boys and girls give us hope for the future.”
While Japan, host Taipei and Vietnam were the favorites here, the Filipinos displayed grit and savvy to pull the rug from under the favored teams.
Igam started it all with accurate sniping and surprise attacks against Nguyen Thi Luong of Vietnam to finish the match with much to spare, 25-10.
The Puerto Princesa lass was also awarded the Best Female Boxer of the tournament plum.
Magno followed suit with a dominant performance against Taipei’s Pin Meng-Chieh, hitting the latter with a solid left to the kisser in the third round for an 8-count and then bloodying her nose in the fourth.
So strong was the bleeding that the referee stopped the contest in the last round, awarding the match to Magno.
Ladon, who, for two years, was training in the shadows of his veteran brother Joegin, finally broke out of his shell, winning the championship in the light flyweight class with a masterful victory over Japanese Kenshiro Teraji, 19-10.
PLDT-ABAP team manager Karina Picson beamed at her wards’ performance.
“These kids came here with no high expectations. The coaching staff did a marvelous job but our boxers showed discipline, determination and guts. They fought hard for the wins and they have the scars to prove it. It was not as easy as it probably sounds.” she said. /abap media bureau