Gabutan, Folayang highlight sports in 2010

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Sunday, January 2, 2011


DAYER Gabutan's title retention in the WBO and Eduard Folayang's win in Singapore's Martial Combat remains the top stories for the year that was in the region's sporting annals.

Gabutan defends WBO title

Gabutan won his first World Boxing Organization's Oriental bantamweight title in July in a unanimous decision victory over Jiro Marlin in Pampanga last July and went on to retain his title last December 12 in front of his adoring fans in La Trinidad, Benguet.

The 22 year old fighting pride of Ambagiw, Besao, Mt Province scored a 58-55, 58-56, 59-55 in a sixth round referee stoppage contest against John Paul Apolinario of Gen. Santos City.

Both fighters where in the thick of a slugfest in the sixth when Gabutan and Apolinario accidentally butted heads resulting to a cut in the lower right eyebrow of Apolinario prompting the referee to stop the fight.

Gabutan, now a La Trinidad based fighter has improved his record to 12 wins with five knock-outs, a solitary loss and two draws while Apolinario dropped to 10 wins including 6 knock-outs, six losses and two draws.

Eduard Folayang - MMA's next Manny Pacquiao

Undoubtedly, Folayang's stint in the international mix martial arts arena continue to bring him hopes of landing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship after he capturing his first Superfight Lightweight Championship belt in Singapore's Martial Combat.

Folayang fought Mongolian Bao She Ri Gu Len and won in a grueling five round decision in July 14. He first saw action in Singapore against Slovakian fighter Egon Racz in the MC Martial Combat 5 event in June 17 then went on to win the match via guillotine choke early in the first round.

He is the reigning welterweight champion of the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the country and a member of the highly decorated team Lakay Wushu.

A new golden boy rises

Upcoming wushu taulo artist John Keithley Chan did not hog the limelight but still managed to win a gold medal in spear play to highlight Team Philippines' campaign in the third World Junior Wushu Championships in Singapore early this month.

A Baguio Patriotic High School senior, John Keithley Chan chalked up an impressive 9.55 score (out of a possible 10) to squeak past Hong Kongite Ng Chun Ngai (9.54) and Malaysian Yap Wai Kin (9.52) for the gilt in spear play of the biennial blue ribbon event for wushu athletes aged 18 years and under.

Triple bronze medalists are also gold for locals

Amateur boxing's light flyweight Alice Kate Appari, wushu fighter Mark Eddiva and another wushu artist Amado Benito also came up with their bronze medal performances for this year in international competitions, a proof Baguio based athletes are world class.

Aparri, who lost to four-time world champion Mary Kom of India 8-1 in the semifinals of the 6th World Women's Boxing Championships at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Bridgetown, Barbados and had to settle for the bronze medal in Barbados.

Aparri was commended for her showing in the semifinals against a virtual legend in women's amateur boxing where the final score did not reflect the competitive stance put up by Aparri who had previously lost to the Indian mother of two from Maipur in their only face-off in 2004 and went on to win her record-breaking fifth gold medal.

Eddiva on the other hand failed to muscle his way past Chinese Zhang Junyong but managed to snatch the Philippines' fourth bronze medal in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Zhang, a gold medalist in the 2009 Asian Martial Arts Games, shut out Eddiva in the first two rounds of the semifinal match in the 65 kilogram sanshou category.

Despite being favored to land on the podium, Eddiva was the only Filipino wushu artist who grabbed a medal with Eduard Folayang and Benjie Rivera taken out early, including women sanshou bet Mary Jane Estimar.

Eddiva, gold medalist in the 2009 Southeast Asian Games and fifth in the 2007 world championships, crushed Ishan Abeyrathna of Sri Lanka in the Round of 16.

He also subdued Kerighj Aghael of Iran in the quarterfinal to reach the semifinal round where he lost to China's Zhang Junyong, 2-0, to settle for the team's only bronze medal in wushu.

Amado Benito also bagged a bronze medal in the third World Junior Wushu Championships in Singapore.
A freshman in hotel and restaurant management at the University of the Cordilleras, Benito thrashed Kant Shashi in snaring the bronze medal in the sanshou or san da (combat) 48 kg division.

Special football squad fails to join Dili tourney

Despite efforts to bring the Special Olympics national soccer to Dili, Timor Leste, the team missed the chance to represent the country.

The special Olympic football squad was supposed to see action in the Oct. 26 to 31 Special Olympics soccer tournament with other teams from 18 Asian countries.

An airfare worth P610,000 would have surely sent the team to East Timor. However, the group only came through with P33,150 from kind hearted donors while the City Council pledged P100,000.

The Baguio squad bested players from nine other cities during the First Intercity Invitational Soccer Tournament held in the summer capital in April this year. This qualified the Baguio team to represent the country in the Second Asia Pacific Intercity Soccer Tournament, which Timor Leste hosted.

Baguio trackster is national champ

Flordeliza Donos found strong resistance from her Kenyan counterparts but still managed to win the distaff side of the 34th National Milo Marathon last November.

She crossed the finish line of the lung-busting, 42-km race which began and ended at the Quirino Granstand with a time of 3:05.07 to turn back Kenyan Susan Jemuyri, who settled for runner-up honor with a time of 3:07.52.

"Masaya na rin ako sa panalong ito," said the 23 year-old native of Puerto Princesa, Palawan who is taking up his masteral degree at the University of Baguio. "Yung nakuha kong premyo, gagamitin ko bilang savings."

Team Lakay not showing sign of slowing down in MMA

Considered as the winningest team in wushu and mix martial arts, Team Lakay continues to dominate international and local competitions by winning their respective competitions led by Kevin Belingon and Roy Docyogen.

Universal Reality Combat Championship Kevin Belingon has an impressive immaculate record of eight wins with no loss, is the current URCC flyweight champion and regular fighter in Legend Fighting Championship in Hong Kong and has also fought in Martial Combat of Singapore.

His two of the three international fights ended in the first round with a technical knock-out against Ngoo Ditty in Martial Combat last May 13 then defeated Dalai Bayin with a rear naked choke in Legend last Sept. 24.

Docyogen, meanwhile, is also undefeated after eight matches and currently holds the pinweight title.

He defeated Saipan's Jordan Ogo by submission with a rear naked choke in URCC, considered not only the biggest in the country, but the oldest and biggest among its Southeast Asian neighbors.

UB, UC, BCNHS is NL's best

Aside from quality education, Baguio City also lords it over other schools in Northern Luzon in terms of sports competition.

Cardinals lord it over in NL PCCL

UB's dominance in basketball competitions earned them a ticket to strut their wares in the northern Luzon leg of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League after topping the Baguio - Benguet Educational Athletic League.

The highly motivated Cardinals then stormed past rival Lyceum of Subic Bay (LSB) to top the North-Central Luzon regional championship of PCCL during the onslaught of Typhoon Juan in Vigan City.

The Cardinals, motivated by the demise of a teammate's father from an illness, sneak past Lyceum, 95-92 to repulse last year's champions.

The UB Cardinals, mentored by Joel Flores, leaned on Clyrel Elefante, Kevin Orduña and Billy Boado to avenge their loss last year.

UB opened their campaign with a win against University of Luzon, 93-86, before following it up with a win against last year's tormentor.

The Cardinals then lost to University of Northern Philippines, 110-89.Both UB and LSB are actually tied with 2-1, win-loss records, but the Cardinals advanced due to the "winner-over-the-other" rule.

Cheer dance champs

University of the Cordilleras Jaguars Pep squad and Baguio City National High School are still the biggest draw up north when it comes to cheer dancing after retaining their titles in the National Cheerleading Championship - North Luzon leg.

The Jaguars pep squad finished off their rivals with another superb demonstration of skill, talent, and intensity despite having a rookie laden squad claimed their third title in three years making them a shoo-in for the national finals in 2011 in Metro Manila where they placed 2nd over-all in two years during the 2009 and 2010 national Finals.

BCNHS meanwhile reigned supreme in the high school division by defeating erstwhile rival BHC Educational Institution for the second straight year.

The BCNHS Highers pep squad also finished 2nd in the 2009-2010 National finals behind Taguig National High School.

Baguio is region's sports powerhouse

Baguio City continues its dominance of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) by taking the overall championship crown for the nth time.

Baguio had a total of 800.5 points to win the title in both the secondary and elementary levels after five days of competition held in various locations in Ifugao last February.

Baguio's secondary athletes also won the overall crown after having 458 points securing first place finishes in archery, athletics, swimming, volleyball, basketball, badminton, chess girls, boxing and football.

In the elementary level, Baguio also dominated the competition with 342.5 points after taking the title in athletics girls, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, lawn tennis boys, swimming, chess, tae kwon do, and football.

It's Baguio for Pacquiao, after all

Much has been said and done but Manny Pacquiao returned for the second time in the summer capital to set-up training camp before he facing Mexican Antonio Margarito in their World Boxing Council's super welterweight crown.

Pacquiao, nonetheless, pummeled the Mexican Tijuana Tornado in 12 rounds after his almost three week stint in the city for his unprecedented eighth world boxing title in eight weight division.

The reigning pound for pound king once again brought with him his prized trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning expert Alex Ariza. Pacquiao trained in Baguio for his WBO welterweight title fight against Miguel Cotto, which he won by a 12th round TKO in November of 2009. (Roderick Osis)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 03, 2011.

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