Moment of truth

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Sunday, December 8, 2013


IT'S the moment of truth for Team Pilipinas as its strong gold medal hopefuls, the national boxing team, begins action today in the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.

Weigh-in is set for all male and female boxers but only the men entries will open their campaign today while the female pugs will yet see action tomorrow, Monday.

Hopes are high for former Brgy. Una Boxing Team of Dmainstays Rey Saludar and Mark Anthony Barriga and Davao del Sur native Nesthy Alcayde Petecio.

Saludar, a former Guangzhou Asian Games gold medalist, however, said he he'll take each bout a time.

"Dili nako masulti kung mag gold ko kay mga maayo napud ang mga taga laing lugar (I really can't say I'll win the gold since boxers from other countries are also strong)," the 26-year-old Saludar, who is competing in his third SEA Games stint, said in a Facebook chat interview yesterday.

He said that he's in good shape as he prepared hard for the biennial meet, adding, "Gusto jud nako maka-gold pero ang atong Ginoo lang nakahibalo kung iya bang itugot na makuha nako ang gold. Kini akong laban para sa akong asawa ug anak, Mama ug Papa ug sa tibuok Pilipinas (I really want to win the gold but only God will make it happen. This fight is for my wife and child, parents and to the entire country)."

He won one bronze each in Laos and Indonesia stagings of the Games. Thus, winning the gold this time will be milestone for him.

"Ready nako sa kumbati (I'm ready for the battle),"Saludar said.
He is entered in men's 52 kg. event while pint-sized Barriga, a native of Panabo City, is competing in 49 kgs.

Barriga went to Myanmar on the heels of competing in the Aiba World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan where he failed to make a medal finish.

But the experience and exposure he got from the Worlds will be most beneficial for him in the SEA Games.

Barriga also signed up with Italy recently to be a part of their team for the World Series of Boxing.

Petecio, meanwhile, said they have been just doing conditioning training since they arrived in Myanmar on Wednesday.

"Jogging lang at punchmates wala nang weights. Weigh-in narin bukas pero sa Lunes pa ang mga babae sasabak sa ring," Petecio said via Facebook.

Petecio, a silver medalist in the Indonesia SEA Games, said: "Excited na ako. Laban para sa bayan! Laban para sa mga kababayan nating nasalanta ng lindol at bagyo."

From 54 kgs in 2011, she moved up to 57 kgs. this year. But she assured that the change of weight will not be difficult for her as she has already adjusted to her new category.

Also fighting for flag and country are Josie Gabuco (48 kgs.), Maricris Igam (51 kgs.) and Irish Magno (54 kgs.) for the women's division while Mario Fernandes (56 kgs.), Junel Cantancio (60 kgs.), Dennis Galvan (64 kgs.) and Wilfredo Lopez (75 kgs.) complete the men's roster.

The nationals, our sports heroes, urged Filipinos from all over the globe to pray for them to win and bring honor for their country so they can somehow uplift the spirits of their calamity-stricken kababayans in the Visayas and other parts of the country.

To our national athletes, go for gold! Laban Pilipinas!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 08, 2013.

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