MANILA -- Seven times the Philippine national anthem was played at the Philippine International Convention Center here Monday evening, December 9, as the host country’s boxers collected seven 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medals out of 10 finals entries, including that of Davao region’s Nesthy Alcayde Petecio and Charly Suarez who pulled off convincing wins against their opponents.
Aiba Women’s Boxing Championships 2019 gold medalist Petecio exacted revenge against 2013 SEA Games finals tormentor Nwe Ni Oo of Myanmar in their women’s featherweight (57 kg) championship bout via unanimous decision to clinch her first ever SEA Games gold, which had evaded her since she joined the national team.
The 27-year-old Petecio was aggressive from the start but her coach Nolito Velasco tried to calm her on the side.
“Nanggigil man gud ko Ma'am kay sya nagpildi nako atong 2013. Pero ana si coach dapat timing lang. Pero gigawas nako tanang power nako sa sumbag (I was eager to beat her because she defeated me in 2013 but coach told me to take it slow and get the right timing in throwing punches. I gave all the strength and power I could muster),” Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sue native Petecio, whose amateur boxing career started in Davao City, told Sun.tar in an interview after the fight.
She thanked God, her coaches, her Abap family, Philippine Sports Commission, her family and friends, and those who came to support her.
“Kung unsa ko kalipay tong midaug ko sa Aiba World, ingon ato sad akong kalipay karon. Para jud ni sa akong pamilya (I’m as happy as when I emerged champion in Aiba World. This is for my family),” she said, adding that her next tournament will be a qualifying in China in February.
All judges scored the bout, 30-24, 30-26, 30-27, 30-24 and 30-24, favoring Petecio. She can’t help but be amazed at how God gave her so much blessings, winning her first Aiba World and first SEA Games golds. “But-an kaayo ang Ginoo (God is so good),” she said.
Meanwhile, Rio Olympian Suarez of Sawata, San Isidro, Davao del Norte also eked out a unanimous decision victory over Thailand’s Khunatip Pidnuch in men’s lightweight finals (60 kg) to annex his fourth SEA Games gold.
“Dako akong kalipay kay natagaan ko og higayon makadula usab aning SEA Games. Una, pasalamat ko sa Ginoo sa blessings, salamat sa Barangay Una Boxing Team kay Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo nagpaeskwela nako high school og college, kay Mam Generose sa iyang inspiration na ginahatag, sa Barangay Sawata sa among mayor og vice mayor, to Davao del Norte, sa akong prayer warriors, sa Abap og sa PSC, sa tanang Pilipin, thank you sa suporta (I’m so thankful to be given this chance to play in the SEA Games. I thank God for his blessings, Barangay Una Boxing Team of Panabo, to Congressman Tonyboy Floirendo who supported me in my studies in high school and college, to Ma'am Generose Tecson for her inspiration, to Baranagay Sawata, to our mayor and vice mayor, to Davao del Norte, to my prayer warriors, to Abap and PSC and to all Filipinos, thank you for the support),” the Incheon Asian Games silver medalist added in a separate interview.
It can be recalled that he turned professional but was asked to join the national team for this biennial meet. “If matagaan usab og higayon para mudula sa nasud, igrab nako. Mapa SEA Games or Olympics (If given the chance to play for the country again, I’ll do it),” he said.
Five judges scored the bout, 30-27, for Suarez.
Other gold medalists for the Philippines -- Aiba World Men’s Boxing silver medalist Eumir Felix Marcial stopped Nguyen Man Cuong of Vietnam in their men’s middleweight finals via first round knockout; James Palicte (men’s light welterweight), Josie Gabuco (women’s light flyweight), Rogen Ladon (men’s flyweight) and Carlo Paalam (men’s light flyweight).
Philippines also got silvers from Panabo City’s Marjon Pianar (Men’s welterweight), Irish Magno (women’s flyweight) and Riza Pasuit (women’s lightweight).