Asian Games-bound PH boxers to train in Australia

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


LESS than a month to go before action begins in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, the Philippines national boxing team will wrap up its training with a two-week stint in Australia.

But Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson, in a text interview with Sun.Star Davao, said they are just waiting for their Australia visas.

"Plano namomga two weeks mi sa Australia kaysa Sept. 21 pa kuno mularga pa Incheon. Ang larga namo pa Australia magdepende ug kanus-a ma-release ang visa (We plan to stay two weeks in Australia as our departure for Incheon will be on Sept. 21 yet. Our Australia departure, however, will depend on when our visas will be released)," Picson said.

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Former Brgy. Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte mainstays Mark Anthony Barriga and Charly Suarez are competing in the Asiad along with Davao del Sur native Nesthy Petecio. The two-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Suarez is entered in men's 60 kilogram event while London Olympian Barriga will make his Asiad debut in men's 49 kgs. And Petecio will show her wares in women's 60 kgs. Completing the country's roster are Ian Clark Bautista (men's 52 kgs.), Mario Fernandez (men's 56 kgs.), Dennis Galvan (men's 64 kgs.), Felix Marcial (men's 69 kgs.) and Josie Gabuco (women's 51 kgs).

Picson, however, said few other boxers who will not compete in Incheon are joining the Australia training as well.

Picson added, "Ok ang condition sa tanan. Pero dili nato ma predict ang resulta kay dili pa gani nato mahibal-an kinsay makontra. Andam lang jud ug maayo (All boxers are in good shape but we just can't predict how they are going to fare since we still don't know who they will be fighting against. They are preparing hard though)."

The men's national boxing team is training at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Abap gym in Manila while the women's team had started their Asian Games preparations in Baguio City since July 24.

Petecio, in a Facebook chat, said, "Happy kongamakaubansa training saAustralia (I'm glad to be able to train in Australia)."

It will be Petecio's first time to fight in the Asiad although she had fought and brought home two silver medalds in past two editions of the SEA Games.

"Excited ko ma-experience kung unsa jud naa sa Asian Games ug excited ko sa akong mga makalaban (I'm excited to experience what it is to play in the Asian Games. I'm also excited to fight my opponents)," Petecio earlier said.

While Suarez got a silver in the 4th President's Cup in Kazakhstan last month, Barriga failed to salvage any medal in the China Cup 2014. Both boxers are hopeful to put up impressive performances in the Asiad, being veterans of the World Series of Boxing.

Barriga, in a recent phone interview, said: "Excited narin. Yung paghihirap nako sa insayo ug sa mga sparring para jud na maka-medal ko sa Asian Games. Goal jud nako gold pero God only knows kung ano ibigay niya, win or lose. Basta pray lang."

Suarez, meanwhile, said, "Target ko makapagbigay ng karangalan sa ating Panginoon, sa family at sa bayan."

The Incheon Asian Games is slated Sept. 19 to Oct. 4.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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