Barriga clinches semis slot in Seag boxing

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013


NAYPYIDAW—It was not the way Mark Anthony Barriga wanted to win; he had beaten Huynh Ngoc Viet of Vietnam quite convincingly only two months ago in the World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan but it took a split decision for Barriga to clinch a semifinals berth in the 27th Southeast Asian Games being held here.

Barriga, who had trained in the last month in Assissi, Italy as a member of the Italia Thunder of the AIBA World Series of Boxing, had been complaining of jet lag since arriving from Italy just last week.

“He also knew my game, and anticipated my left straight. I felt some tightness in my thighs and couldn't move well. Luckily, I was able to sneak in some of my hooks,” the 20 year-old London Olympics veteran confided in Filipino.

It was smoother sailing for 2013 China Open silver medalist Junel Cantancio, who at 27, is the most senior of the 10 PLDT-ABAP boxers here. He virtually ran rings around his Laotian opponent, Keochi Xayyasone to earn all the three judges' nod, 30-24, 30-24 and 29-28.

With the two victories Tuesday, the entire Philippine boxing team has crashed into the medal rounds. Barriga, Cantancio, Rey Saludar, Mario Fernandez, Dennis Galvan, Wilfredo Lopez, Josie Gabuco, Maricris Igam and Irish Magno are all in the semifinal round, while Nesthy Petecio is in the Finals after her win last Monday over her erstwhile nemesis, Tassamalee Thongjan of Thailand. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.

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