Pacquiao to grace nat'l championships

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


OVER 100 boxers will vie for honors as the Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao-sponsored PLDT-ABAP National Championships unfurls at 2 p.m. today at the Digos City Gym in Davao del Sur.

Amateur Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson yesterday confirmed Pacquiao's attendance in a text message to Sun.Star Davao, "Okay nasi Cong. Manny.

Nagpasalig syang anaa siya diri Digos ugma sa udto (Cong. Manny confirmed that he's coming to Digos by noontime tomorrow)."

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Pacquiao is hosting the weeklong slugfest in partnership with the provincial government of Davao del Sur under his good friend Gov. Claude Bautista. The tournament is part of the 47th founding anniversary celebration of Davao del Sur.

Current WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao, in a recent Abap statement, relived his fond memories as an amateur boxer and decided to stage the nationals in Digos, saying: "Marami akong magandang alaala dyan."

Pacquiao, representing Region 12, is also a member of the Abap Board of Directors.

Bautista will welcome guests and participants from all parts of the country during the opening rites. Also gracing the event are Abap secretary-general Patrick Gregorio and treasurer JJ Vargas.

Teams will come from Tayabas, Sorsogon, Nueva Vizcaya, Mandaluyong City, Occidental Mindoro and La Union from Luzon; Leyte, Maasin City, Bago City and Cebu in the Visayas; and Cagaya de Oro, Digos, Sarangani, Camiguin, Sultan Kudarat, Cabadbaran, Aglayan, General Santos City and Calinan-Davao City in Mindanao.

The Brgy.Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte, however, will miss action in the nationals this year as their school boys boxers are still beginners and they don't have female boxers.

Preliminaries will start at 3 p.m. featuring schools boys and girls 14 years old paperweight, light pinweight, pinweight, light flyweight, flyweight, light bantamweight, bantamweight, lightweight categories; juniors gils 15-16 years old pinweight, light flyweight, flyweight, light bantamweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight; youth girls 17-18 light flyweight, flyweight, bantamweihgt, featherweight and lightweight; juniors boys 46 kilograms, 48 kgs., 50 kgs., 52 kgs., and 54 kgs.; youth boys 46 kgs., 49 kgs., 52 kgs., 56 kgs. and 60 kgs.

The school boys and girls divisions were included to serve as selection for the Abap training pool in preparation for the 2015 Aiba World Junior Boxing Championships.

Gold and silver medals will be awarded to the champion and runner-up of each of the event while semi-finals losers will each claim a bronze.
Abap will also give away cash prizes of P2,000 to the gold medalist, P1,000 to the runner-up and P700 apiece to bronze medalists.

Pacman Boxing team manager Luisito "Bebe" Tinagsa, former trainer of Pacquiao, is competition manager of the tournament.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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