Four more gold medals for PHI as SEA Games closing draws near

Mark Escarlote on Jun 14, 2015 09:16 PM
PHI now with 28 SEA Games gold medals
Those four mints hiked the Philippines’ medal tally to 28 golds with one more within sight -- men’s basketball -- on the penultimate day of the games on Monday.

SINGAPORE --- Two gold medals in taekwondo and one each in sailing and tennis and Team Philippines sighed in relief as it virtually achieved its minimum objective in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Those four mints hiked the Philippines’ medal tally to 28 golds with one more within sight -- men’s basketball -- on the penultimate day of the games on Monday.

Chief of mission Julian Camacho has set two goals in these games -- first is to match the 41 golds the country won in Nakhon Ratchasima in 2007 which was the most in four editions of the games, and second, match or surpass the 29 mints won in Myanmar two years ago.

Samuel Thomas Morrison won in taekwondo’s men’s under 68 kgs and Pauline Louise Lopez ruled the women’s under 57 kgs class to join Treat Huey and Denise Dy in tennis’s mixed doubles and Ridgely Balladares, Rommel Chavez and Richly Magsanay in sailing’s male match racing keelboat event as the gold medal producers for the day.

But set aside the four gold medals and the entire Philippine delegation here faced a tremendous scare in men’s basketball.

Thailand surprised Sinag Pilipinas, the Gilas cadet team, with its fluid offense and tenacious defense all throughout the men’s basketball match before yielding to the Filipinos’ individual skills, 75-80, in the semifinal at the OCBC Arena.

The Thais dictated the tempo practically the entire ball game, even leading 43-33 at the half.

The Filipinos struggled but got their act together in the third quarter against the stubborn Thais. It took a triple by Kiefer Ravena in the final minute of play to break the Thais’ momentum.

The Philippines will play the winner of the Indonesia-Singapore semifinal match that was played late on Sunday in the final scheduled at 8 p.m. also at the OCBC Arena.

Huey and Dy beat Thailand’s Sonchat Ratiwatana and Peangtarn Plipuech, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, at the Kallang Tennis Centre for the first gold medal of the day.

Sailing contributed the other gold medal when Balladares, Chavez and Magsanay staved off a gallant challenge put up by the host team and Thailand so capture the gold medal male match racing keelboat event at the Marina Bay.

The Philippines improved to 26 golds and remained in sixth place overall behind Thailand, which now looked unreachable on top of the medal tally board with 87 gold medals.

Singapore is now playing catch up with 81 golds, followed by Vietnam with 73 mints and Malaysia 59. Indonesia also went beyond reach of the Philippines with 44 golds in fifth place.

Twenty-nine gold medals were won in Myanmar, but Team Philippines in those games clinched one less silver medal compared to Singapore with 34. However, there were more bronze medals clinched, 64-38, in Myanmar.

Dy also played in Sunday’s women’s doubles finals with Katharina Lehnert some two hours after partnering with Treat but the toll of playing two matches with nary a window of rest weighed down on Dy. The Filipina pair lost to Varatchaiya Wongteangchai and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, also of Thailand, 3-6, 4-6, to settle for a silver medal.

Comebacking Amaya Paz-Cojuangco was also unable to adjust to the sudden change of wind conditions and narrowly lost the women’s compound gold medal to Malaysia’s Fatin Nurfatelah Matt Saleh, 136-138, at the close of the archery tournament.

Ahead after the first two rounds, Paz, the back-to-back champion in this event in the 2005 Philippine and 2007 Thailand SEA Games, lost her grip of the lead in the third around with scores of 9-8-9 against Matt Saleh’s 8-10-10

The Malaysian then secured the gold medal in the fifth and final round, hitting scores of 10-9-9 compared to the Filipina’s 9-9-9.

Cojuangco also clinched two bronze medals—women’s team with ageless Jennifer Chan and Joann Chan Tabanag and mixed team with Earl Benjamin Yap. Yap, Paul de la Cruz and Delfin Adriano delivered another bronze in archery’s men’s team event.

In rowing, Nestor Cordova lost the men’s singles sculls title when he finished behind Indonesia’s Memo Memo at the Marina Channel.

Memo won gold in the 1,000-meter event with a time of three minutes and 27.25 seconds. Cordova (3:30.47) finished more than two seconds behind for the silver while Myanmar’s Ko Min Aiung (3:31.65) bagged the bronze.

Olympians Benjamin Tolentino and Edgar Ilas settled for the bronze medal in men’s lightweight double 1,000 meters also of rowing.

Wakeboarders Mark Howard Griffin and Maquel Jawn Selga, meanwhile, could do no better than a bronze medal in the wakeboard team competition.

Althoug Griffin finished third overall in the men’s division with 73.45 points, Selga could only muster fifth place in the women’s division with 30 points for a combined tally of 103.45 points, good for third and the bronze.

They also garnered a bronze medal each in the men’s and women’s individual wakeboard events.

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