PHI team campaign in SEA Games on full blast Saturday

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 05, 2015 07:28 PM
PHI team campaign in SEA Games on full blast Saturday
Team Philippines will go into war in different fronts on Saturday in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

SINGAPORE – Top Filipino sports officials are looking for a golden “trigger” that could kick start the country’s campaign as the 28th Singapore Southeast steps into high gear on Saturday.

“What we are looking for a is (golden) trigger that can serve as inspiration of our other athletes,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia yesterday while the athletes took a break  for the 11-nation sportsfest’s opening ceremonies at the Singapore National Stadium.

Garcia said that it could have come from fencing last Thursday through Harlene Raguin, who, however, faded and had to settle for silver in the women’s indiviudal epee.

The PH campaigners actually ended the day with another silver medal courtesy of grizzled 44-year-old veteran Richard Gonzales, who lost to three-time defending SEA Games champion Gao Ning in the men’s table tennis singles finals.

Garcia, however, said that the country was still doing well so far with with its haul of three silvers and one bronze medal.

This showing was good for fifth in the overall medal standings at the end of action last Thursday, a rung higher than traditional powerhouse Indonesia that could only sport three bronze medals.     

Netting most of its golds from table tennis,  synchronized swimming and netball, host Singapore was on top of the heap with a 7-4-7 gold-silver-bronze tally, followed by Vietnam (4-1-8) while Thailand ranked third (2-3-7).

Garcia was confident that the Pinoy bets could finally strike pay dirt on Sunday, citing the sports of triathlon and wushu where they most likely to come from.

“Although I don’t have the background in triathlon, but I talked to triathlon chief Tom Carrasco, who was confident that his athletes would be able to deliver,” Garcia said. “Wushu, on the other hand, has always consistently given us golds in the past.”

National team chef de mission Julian Camacho, who is also the wushu secretary general, was likewise optimistic that one and possibly two of the golds would come from his own backyard.

“We are strong in the dulian (double weapons),” said Camacho, who was given the dope on the opposition from his coaches and technical officials.

The men’s dulian squad is bannered by Daniel Parantac, an Incheon Asian Games bronze medalist, who will be teaming up with Norlence Adlee  Catolico and John Keithley Chan, while the woman’s squad is composed of Karisa Kris Chan and Natasha Enriquez.

Women’s triathlon coach Ani de de leon Brown, on the other hand, said that either female triathletes Claire Adorna or  Kim Mangrobang, who trained for three months intensively  in separate camps aboard, could reward the Philippines its first gold medal early Saturday morning at the East Coast Park.

“Realistically if you look at the times, and look at the records of the opposition, these two girls are at the different level than their competitors” said De Leon of her Adorna and Mangrobang, who finished seventh and ninth overall, respectively,  in the Incheon Asian Games last October.

Mangrobang trained with male triathlete Niko Huelgas are fresh from training in Rio Maior, Portugal while Adorna and Jordan Sian had their build-up in Moololaba, Australia.      

Deputy chef de mission and gymnastics Cynthia Carrion said she was banking on male gymnast Reyland Capellan to come out strong in the men’s  individual vault and floor exercise. 


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