PH fencers, spinners ready for SEAG action

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Athletes from fencing and table tennis are hoping to deliver the country’s first mint in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) when they vie for medals today in different venues in Singapore.

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There are three gold medals at stake in fencing including the men’s individual epee and men’s individual sabre titles.

Veteran campaigners Nathaniel Perez and Emerson Segui will be leading the men’s squad along with Noelito Jose, Gian Rodriguez, Eric Brando, Gian Carlo Nocom, Alamrio Vizcayno, Donnie Navarro, Brenan Wayne Louie and Wilfred Richard Curioso.

Seeing action in the women’s division are Wilhelmina Lozada, Justine Tinio, Hanniel Abella, Harlene Raguin, Jylyn Nicanor, Clichelleyn Del Rosario, Keren Pangilinan, Anna Estimada and Geisha De Leon, who are all aiming to win the women’s individual foil crown.

The Philippine Fencing Association earlier predicted at least four of the 12 gold medals at stake in the fencing competition, which will run until June 7.

In 2011 Games in Palembang, Indonesia, the Filipino fencers bagged one gold and three bronzes. Fencing was not played in the 2013 edition in Naypyitaw, Myanmar due to limited facilities.

“We had a good training back in Manila. We trained twice a day – morning and evening. Gusto naming makapag-contribute sa campaign ng Pilipinas sa SEA Games. Sana makuha namin lahat ng events,” said Perez, a University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion.

The preliminary round of the men’s individual epee and women’s individual foil are scheduled at 9:30 a.m. while the opening round of the men’s individual sabre is slated at 12 noon at the OCBC Arena. All final events will be played in the evening.

In table tennis, Sendrina Balatbat and Ryan Rodney Jacolo hope to advance to the medal round of the mixed doubles event. They will face Singapore’s Yu Mengyu and Yang Zi in the quarterfinals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

If Balatbat and Jacolo win against the Singaporeans, they will be assured of at least a bronze medal.

The Filipino duo made it to the quarterfinals after beating Thavisack Phathaphone and Seangdavieng Douangpanya of Laos in the first round, 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-6.

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