Ladon hopes to fare better than Suarez in first bout

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 07, 2016 02:30 PM
Ladon hopes to fare better than Suarez in first bout
Rogen Ladon (left) will try to avenge the early elimination of teammate Charly Suarez when he steps inside the boxing ring Monday.

RIO DE JANEIRO --- With one of Team Philippines top potential medal hopeful falling out right in the first day of competition in Rio Olympics here, the burden now falls on the remaining boxing bet light-flyweight Rogen Ladon.

The No. 5 seed Ladon drew a bye in the first day of the 49kg. class and will make his debut on Monday against Colombian Yurberjen Martinez, a 3-0 winner over Brazil’s Patrick Lourenco earlier Saturday.

Ladon only needs to win two matches to assure himself of a bronze and four to win the gold.

“Yung hindi ko nakamit baka makamit ni Ladon o sino man sa mga kasama natin,” said Charly Suarez, who made his Olympic debut against Joseph Cordina of Great Britain early Sunday morning (Manila time) in Riocentro Pavilion 6.

But Suarez, who will turn 28 on Aug. 14, absorbed a bitter loss, a split decision (2-1). He won in the eyes of the referee from Turkey, 29-28, but lost in the cards of those from Morocco (29-28) and Uzbekistan (30-27).

The judge from Uzbekistan gave all three rounds to Cordina, including the second, where Suarez landed a couple of right straights to his oppnent’s face. The judges from Turkey and Morocco both had the Filipino winning the second round.

It was a bitter loss for Suarez, who had hoped to get past Cordina, taller by three inches at 5’9” but one who does not have the boxing skills of the Filipino veteran.

“Sa tingin ko nanalo tayo,” said Pinoy coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco at the Athletes Village a couple of hours after Suarez failed to advance to the quarterfinals.

Velasco felt that Suarez did well even in the third round and was quite surprised that all three judges gave the round to British fighter.

“Halos hindi na sumuntok sa third round ang kalaban. Wala naman pinakita. Pero ganyan talaga. Puwede manalo, puwede matalo,” he added.

Velasco said Suarez did well in the first two rounds that he even ordered the most senior member of the Philippine boxing team to pour in on in the final round to make sure he’d get the win.

“Ang sabi ko nga kay Charly bombahin na sa third round dahil baka madaya pa tayo,” said Velasco.

Suarez, who wanted to reach the medal rounds in his first Olympics, said he gave his best inside the ring but has accepted the decision of the judges.

“Sa tingin ko naman panalo ako (I thought I won). Pero tanggap ko na (But I accept the loss). Magaling din naman yung Great Britain. Mataas at mahaba (My opponent is a good boxer. He’s tall and fights long),” he said.

A small group of Filipinos based here in Rio de Janeiro cheered from the stands, and joined others who booed the decision.

“May mga nag-boo nga sa decision. Nakakatuwa din,” said Suarez.

The loss was the last of the three Pinoy bets that had were sent into an early vacation

Ian Lariba of table tennis, who carried the Philippine flag the opening ceremony Friday evening, was first to fall, losing to Xing Han of Congo in straight sets, 11-7, 13-7, 11-9, 11-7, in a morning match at the Riocentro Pavillion 3.

“There's still some things lacking in my game. I can still feel the tension. But I will learn from this experience,” said the 21-year-old Lariba.

After Lariba's unsuccessful Olympic debut, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, who’s in his second straight Olympics, failed to keep up with rivals in the men’s 400m freestyle.

Lacuna, a 22-year-old student at Ateneo, finished sixth among seven swimmers in Heat 2 of his event with a time of 4:01.70. It was way below his personal best of 3:55:34.

Mack Horton of Australia eventually won the gold in the 400m freestyle with a time of 3:41.55. Not even Lacuna’s best time of 3:55.34 would have kept him close to the eighth and last finalist, Jordan Pothain of France who timed 3:49:07.

Reporters were not able to talk to Lacuna. 

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