Only one gold added to struggling Philippine team
Naypyitaw, Myanmar—For the second straight Southeast Asian Games, rower Nestor Cordova came through just when it looked like Team Philippines was headed for another gold medal shutout Monday.
Just like two years ago in Indonesia, the 36-year-old Philippine Navy sergeant ruled the men’s singles sculls at Ngalik Dam, keeping the country from plunging deeper in the overall race with six days remaining in the 27th SEA Games in this laidback city.
On a day when the Philippines continued to sputter on different fronts, the Bacolod City native sustained his mastery of the event by clocking seven minutes and 49.38 seconds to nip Myanmar’s Ayung Ko Min (7:49.68) and Indonesia’s Memo (8:03.61).
“I just gave it my all in the last part of the race,” Cordova said.
It was a stunning victory by Cordova as he trailed halfway through the 2000-meter course, before pouring it on the rest of the way to capture his third gold since he first won the event in Thailand in 2007.
The country’s haul is now at 12 golds, 17 silvers and 23 bronze medals, which was still good for seventh in the race for overall supremacy.
Thailand sustained its charge, jacking up its tally to 57 gold, 44 silver and 46 bronze medals to hold sway as of 6 p.m. yesterday. Trailing Thailand are Vietnam (41-36-41), Myanmar (39-37-40), Indonesia (35-50-50), Malaysia (25-21-46) and Singapore (18-16-25).
Perlas Pilipinas – the women’s basketball team – whipped Myanmar, 80-31, to clinch a silver for the second consecutive SEA Games – a feat matched by Narcisa Atienza in heptathlon and the men’s doubles sculls of Benjamin Tolentino and Edgar Ilas.
Rebounding resoundingly after absorbing a beating to champion Thailand, Perlas notched back-to-back victories in their last two outings and finished with a 3-1 (win-loss) record.
The two bronze medals came courtesy of marathon bet Eric Panique and Earl Benjamin Yap in the men’s compound 50-m event of archery.
Atienza collected 5241 points in the seven-event discipline over the past two days and finished second behind Wasana Winathu of Thailand with 5,556 points.
It marked the third straight time that Atienza wound up with a silver. She capped her effort with 2:38.70 clocking in the 800m, good for third place.
A cramps-stricken Panique, a marathon silver medalist in Palembang two years ago, settled for third place, this time, by clocking 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Feeling pain in his legs, Panique slowed down in the last five kilometers of the 42.195 km race won by Singapore’s Ying Ren Mok (2:28:36). Thaung Aye of Myanmar finished second.
Yap accounted for the other bronze after prevailing over compatriot Delifin Adriano in the men’s compound 50m a shootoff, after both PH bets finished with 143 points. /inquirer
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