The Philippines begins its medal quest in the 2014 Asian Games on Saturday as its athletes from shooting, tennis, rowing, weightlifting and wushu go into action in different venues here.
Shooters Eric Ang and Hagen Alexander Topacio will take part in the men’s trap qualification round at 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. in Manila) at the Gyeonggido Shooting Range.
Rower Benjamin Tolentino Jr. will see action in the 12-participant men’s lightweight single sculls at 10:10 a.m., and Nestor Cordova and Edgar Ilas in the lightweight doubles sculls at 10:40 a.m.
The men’s tennis squad of Grand Slam veteran Treat Conrad Huey, Ruben Gonzales and Patrick John Tierro faces the Mongolians in the team event at 10:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. in Manila) on Court 7 of the Yeorumul Tennis Courts.
The women’s team of Filipino-American Dennis Dy and Filipino-German Katharina Lehnert battles the host country also at 10:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. in Manila).
Weightlifter Nestor Colonia guns for a medal in the finals of the men’s 56-kilogram event at the Moonlight Festival Garden at 7 p.m.
With a personal best of 280 kilograms, Colonia is seeded sixth in the 14-man field.
North Korea’s Om Yunchol, a gold medalist in the 2012 London Olympics, and China’s Wu Jingbiao, a silver winner in the same edition of the Olympics, are the two top seeds with identical 290-kg personal marks.
“Our records are close, he [Nestor] is in Category A. Our plan is to make a perfect second lift so that we’ll have a strong chance at winning a medal,” said Colonia’s uncle and trainer, George Colonia.
The wushu team starts its bid at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in Manila) with Jean Claude Saclag (men’s Sanda 60-kg), Divine Wally (women’s Sanda 60-kg) and Francisco Solis (men’s Sanda 56-kg) fighting in their respective weight classes.
Veteran campaigner Evita Elise Zamora is out of the women’s Sanda 60-kg after suffering an injury in a tournament in China.
“Our stringent criteria ensured that only the best entries, only the most qualified athletes will set foot in this village. That is why we have only 150 of our best athletes entered here,” said Chief of Mission Ricardo Garcia.
The Gilas Pilipinas basketball team, which includes naturalized player Marcus Douthit and team captain Jimmy Alapag, got the green light from the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee.
Douthit replaced Andray Blatche in the line-up while Alapag was the latest addition after deciding to join the team in the Asian Games.
Alapag had announced that his stint in the FIBA World Cup in Spain was his last duty for the national team. But the prolific guard reconsidered and took the slot reserved for the injured Jayson Castro.
Rounding up the team are Jared Ryan Dillinger, Ranidel de Ocampo, Gabe Norwood, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Gary David, Paul John Dalistan, Marc Pingris, June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar.
“No questions were asked. Only a minor confusion on the players’ jersey numbers had to be addressed,” said a Philippine Team secretariat who attended the managers’ meeting.