Arthus Bucay, a Paralympics veteran and an Asian Games medal winner, handed Team Philippines its first medal by racing to a silver in the men’s kilometer C5 track event of cycling in yesterday’s opening of the ninth ASEAN Para Games at the Velodrome Nasional Malaysia in Nilai Negeri Sembilan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 37-year-old Bucay, who raced in the 2012 London Paralympics and 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games where he pocketed a bronze, timed in an hour, 15 minutes and 4.32 seconds to snare the silver in the event that he wasn’t expected to deliver.
Malaysian Zuhaire Bin Amad Tarimzi booked the gold in 1:09.690 while Indonesian Sufyan Saori claimed the bronze in 1:19.170.
Bucay, who had an accident in a cycling race in 2013 that led to an operation that left him with an unproportioned pair of legs, go for the gold in the 4000m individual pursuit at 4:30 p.m. today that he hopes to add to his silver.
In table tennis at the Hall 8 of the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Billy Smith Cartera and Darwin Salvacion routed Cambodia’s Voy Yasal and Ch Parnsamoth, 3-0, in the men’s event TT4 of table tennis that practically assured them of at least a bronze.
After seizing the first two singles matches, Cartera and Salvacion then sealed the match win with a quick, merciless 11-8, 11-1, 11-6 win over Yasal and Parnsamoth in the doubles.
The triumph was a soothing balm to their teammates’ broken hearts following setbacks by Rogelio Cezar and Jobert Lumanta and Pablo Catalan and Benedictp Gaela to their respective Indonesian opponents in the TT8 and TT9 class, respectively.
The Philippines also had a solid start in goalball after fending off a late fightback by Cambodia to eke out a 12-11 win.
But the Filipinos nearly blew the win after coach Freddie Estacion substituted starters Jolan Camacho, Jomer Anden and Lemuel Garcia in favor of James dela Cerna, Jefferson Balenton and Jeff Fernando that opened the doors for the Cambodian to score three straight booming goals to close the gap by just a hairline with nine seconds to go.
Good thing the Philippines had enough left in the gas tank to preserve the win.