Boxers to undergo series of AG eliminations

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


NATIONAL boxers, even after competing in Kazakhstan and China recently, will still undergo a series of eliminations to earn spots in the 17th Asian Games-bound Team Philippines.

Former Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte mainstays Rey Saludar and Charly Suarez, who each brought home a silver from the President's Cup international boxing tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan, will be among those who will still have to fight their way to win slots for the Games slated Sept. 19 to October 4 in Incheon, South Korea along with Tuban, Davao del Sur native Nesthy Alcayde Petecio who lost in the women's 60 kg. quarter-finals of the China Open 2014 that came to a close over the weekend in Guiyang, China.

Amateur Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson, while in Digos City for the PLDT-Abap Amateur National Boxing Championships, bared that national boxers will have to go through a series of selection process to determine who will compete in the Asiad since the current national squad has two or more boxers in each weight category.

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The 26-year-old two-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Suarez, also a veteran in the World Series of Boxing, told Sun.Star Davao: "May box-off pa kami, tatlong beses dapat manalo ng two o three (rounds) para 85 percent na makalaro ng Asian Games. Para sa akin patuloy parin ang prayer kasi wala pa (ako) sa Korea at hindi pa nakasakay ng plane."

Petecio, for her part, said she hopes that she doesn't have to undergo the eliminations but she will do her best if she needs to.

"Ungta dili na, kung naa okay lang pud wala may problema sa ako. Ready jud kaayo ko. Walay problema sa ako ug dili pud ko payag nga mapildi ko (I just hope I dodn't have to go through eliminations but it's okay with me if I have to. I'm ready and I don't want to be beaten at all)," Petecio said adding that she is looking forward to see action in her first-ever Asian Games stint.

She also said, "I'm 100 percent excited na ma-experience kung unsa jud naa sa Asian Games ug excited ko sa akong mga makalaban. Ampo lang ug pag-ensayohan jud nako para maapil ko sa mapadala sa Korea (I'm 100 percent excited to experience what it is to play in the Asian Games and I'm also excited for my opponents. Pray and train hard so I can be among those who will be sent to South Korea)."

Petecio said that the national boxing team will train in Baguio City starting this week. "Dili pa sure kung madayon mi training sa Australia mao man ila plano mao lang ingon-ingon nila. Murag sa sparring ug training lang nila i base kung kunsa lang jud makadula sa Asian Games (It's still uncertain if we get to train in Australia based on the plan. I think they will just base the Asian Games selection on the sparring and training)."

It can be recalled that 2010 Asian Games champion Saludar, who hails from Polomolok, South Cotabato, lost to Asian youth champion Ian Clark Bautista of Negros Occidental in a men's flyweight exhibition scoring match in Digos City during the PLDT-Abap championships. The latter was the lone gold medalist for the PLDT-Abap team in the 2014 China Open.

Suarez, meanwhile, defeated teammate Junel Cantancio in their lightweight match-up in a separate exhibition bout at the same Digos tournament.
Most likely, Saludar and Bautista will face off anew for the flyweight slot while Suarez and Cantancio will clash again for the right to represent the country in the lightweight category.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 23, 2014.

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