Archers nab PH's third medal so far in 2017 SEA Games
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 17, 2017 06:37 PM
(Photo courtesy of the official 2017 SEA Games website: http://kualalumpur2017.com.my)
KUALA LUMPUR – Earl Yap, Joseph Benjamin Vicencio and Paul Marton dela Cruz provided the country’s third medal – a bronze – in the men’s team compound event in the archery competition of the 29th Malaysia Southeast Asian Games here on Thursday.
Sizzling hot in their opening match, the second-seeded Pinoy hawkeyes dumped Myanmar, 236-214, while advancing to the semifinals against Singapore, which nipped Indonesia, 226-225.
But Yap, Vicencio and Dela Cruz lost their touch just as fast, falling to the Singaporeans, 227-233, and was relegated to the battle for the bronze against Vietnam, a 227-228 loser in the other semis to eventual gold medalist Malaysia.
The Filipino archers topped the Vietnamese, 233-230, duplicating the bronze-medal finish they had in the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games.
It was the second bronze medal for Dela Cruz, who placed third in the men’s individual compound last Wednesday.
“Medyo kinabahan yong mga bata natin,” noted coach Clint Sayo of the sudden slide of the Filipino men’s troika. “Nerves play a lot in this sport and it gets to the best of them.”
It could be the thing bugging two-time SEA Games women’s individual gold medalist Amaya Paz-Cojuangco, who had another lackluster outing in the women’s team compound event at the National Sports School Synthetic Turf Field inside the Kuala Lumpur Sports City Bukit Jalil.
Together with Abbigail Tindugan and Jennifer Chan, the Filipina archers fell to Thailand, 215-222, in the quarters.
Dela Cruz and Cojuangco, who led the eliminations with a combined score of 1,397 points, will try to break the PH camp’s gold-medal drought when they team up in the mixed-team event on Friday.
With the archers' pair of bronze medals and another silver from the sepak takraw squad, the Philippines is in sixth place of the medal tally in the early stretch of this three-week battle.
As of 5 pm, host Malaysia is on top with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals followed by Indonesia with two gold medals and a bronze. Myanmar is not far behind with two gold medals while Singapore and Vietnam are in fourth and fifth place with 1-1-1 and 0-2-2, respectively.
Over at the National Aquatic Center, the PH men’s water polo squad came up with a valiant stand before falling to defending champion Singapore, 5-7, bowing out of gold-medal contention with its second loss in three matches in the five-nation, single-round series.
The Filipino sepak takraw squad, which gave the country its first silver in chinlone event 3 last Wednesdsay, was shut out of the podium this time with 76 points, good for fifth place.
Also at the National Aquatic Center pool, Aaliyah Pacheco sank deep in the deep the standings in eight place after garnering 61.33 points in the solo free routine event of artistic swimming, formerly known as synchronized swimming.
In a major development on Friday, Philippine Olympic Committee Jose Cojuangco Jr. will formally present the country's hosting to the 2019 SEA Games to the SEA Games Federation meeting scheduled at the Mandarin Oriental here.
Through Foreign Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano last Thursday, the national government assured government support for the Philippine staging of the regional sportsfest for the fourth time after it was held in Manila in 1981, 1991 and 2005.
Still playing at press time was the National Under-22 squad and the national women’s squad in separate venues.
Both gunning for their second straight wins, the Filipino booters were set to battle Indonesia in Group B at the Shah Alam Stadium while the Malditas tangled with Vietnam at the UM Arena in Petaling Jaya.
Over at the Water Sports Complex in Putra Jaya, a 45-minute drive from here, Filipino swimmers were set to compete in the 10-kilometer finals of open course swimming on Friday.
Competing in the men’s division are Roy Canete and Mico Anota while the women’s entries were Melissa Courtney and Erika Lukang.
Alyssa Salvador and Ruth Desiree Abiera were set to compete in the women’s duet in artistic swimming.