Monday, May 20, 2019

Kudos to Ochoa, Azkals; breaks again

All Write

IN MALMO, Sweden, on Sunday, Meggie Ochoa became the first Filipino—and Asian—world champion in jiujitsu.

It is sweet redemption for Ochoa, who could only finish third in the recent 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.

That was a bitter Asiad defeat as she bowed to the same opponent she had beaten in 2017.

She took it in stride, saying, “What God has laid out for us is much bigger.”

In her Sweden win, Ochoa began by defeating France Morgane Houx, 4-0, in the 49-kilogram division before next downing Poland’s Anna Agustyn-Mitkowska, 2-0.

After beating Laetitia Boes of France by submission in the closely-fought semifinals, Ochoa finally won gold by defeating Canadian Ni Ni Vicky Hoang, 2-0.

What makes Ochoa, 28, even more admirable is her advocacy of using the sport for the protection of children against sexual predators.

It is but fitting, therefore, that our sports officials, led by the top brass of both the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission, fete this heroine in a most queenly manner the very minute she gets home. It is not every day that we get to encounter such gallantry displayed on the world stage. Her feat can only be as comparable and as magnificent as the invention of the sliced bread.

And hardly had the din of euphoria in Sweden died down when news broke out that the Philippine Azkals booked a coveted semifinal slot in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

That materialized after Thailand had blanked Singapore, 3-0, in Bangkok, rendering the Azkals-Indonesia Sunday match in Jakarta, which was a goalless draw, a non-bearing match.

The knockout stage between the Philippines and Vietnam begins on Dec. 2 in Panaad, Bacolod, with the next one set in Hanoi four days after. Indeed, the Azkals have come a long way.

On home shores, eagerly awaited is the winner-take-all on Wednesday between University of the Philippines and Adamson in UAAP Season 81 Final 4. The victor battles Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals after the Blue Eagles routed the FEU Tamaraws, 80-61, on Sunday.

Like I said, breaks will decide anew the outcome of the UP-Adamson decider.


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