• PH’s SEA Games campaign goes full throttle

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    Nathaniel Perez (right) of the Philippines competes with Indonesia’s Dennis Ariadinata Satriana in their fencing men’s individual foil quarterfinals match during the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. Perez won the bronze medal.  AFP PHOTO

    Nathaniel Perez (right) of the Philippines competes with Indonesia’s Dennis Ariadinata Satriana in their fencing men’s individual foil quarterfinals match during the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. Perez won the bronze medal.
    AFP PHOTO

    Thirty-eight gold medals will be disputed in 16 sports today as the 2015 Southeast Asian Games goes full swing in different venues in Singapore.

    Athletes from triathlon, dragonboat, wushu and judo are hoping to deliver gold medals for the country when they begin their respective campaigns.

    The Philippines aims to win three of the four gold medals – women’s 6-crew 200m, men’s 6-crew 200m, women’s 12-crew 200m and men’s 12-crew 200m – at stake in the dragonboat competitions at the Marina Bay.

    The preliminary rounds start at 12:20 p.m.

    “We are ready to face the challenge. Yung mga bata preparado talaga dahil alam namin na malalakas rin ang mga kalaban natin dito. Pero tiwala ako sa kakayahan ng mga bata. Lalaban kami,” said dragonboat head coach Len Len Escollante, a member of the women’s national volleyball team that won the country’s last gold medal in 1993 ironically held in Singapore.

    Alex Generalo, Alvin Generalo, Christian Urso, Leo Bumagat, Fernan Dungan, Dany Funelas, Oliver Manaig, Kevin Mendoza, Daniel Ortega, Ojay Fuentes, Michael Selencio, John Paul Selencio and Jonathan Ruz comprised the men’s team while Raquel Almencion, Patricia Ann Bustamante, Maribeth Caranto, Rosalun Esguerra, Rea Glore, Glaiza Liwag, Maria Manatad and Ella Niuda shoot for medals in the women’s division.

    Fresh from intensive training in Portugal and Australia, Philippine Swimming League standout Maria Claire Adorna and Kim Mangrobang are looking for a 1-2 finish in the women’s triathlon scheduled at 8 a.m. at the East Coast Park.

    The wushu team, on the other hand, guns for medals in the women’s compulsory taijiquan, men’s optional changquan, men’s doubles weapon and women’s doubles weapons with 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Daniel Parantac, John Keithley Chan and Agatha Wong leading the charge of the taolu artists.

    Incheon Asian Games bronze winner Francisco Solis (men’s sanda 60-kilogram) and Clemente Tabugara (men’s sanda 65 kgs.) earned byes in their respective weight classes to automatically advance to the quarterfinals.

    There are also five golds in judo – another possible gold mine of the Philippines.

    Myanmar Games gold medalist Gilbert Ramirez will be defending his crown in the men’s 73-81 kgs. while the other members of the team are Filipino-Japanese Kiyomi Watanabe, Helen Dawa, Jenielou Mosqueda, Bianca Estrella, Dennis Catipon, Kodo Nakano and Kenji Yahata.

    So far, the Philippines has three silvers and one bronze for fifth place in the medal tally. The silvers were from Richard Gonzales (men’s singles table tennis), Harlene Raguin (women’s individual epee) and Justine Gail Tinio (women’s individual foil) while Nathaniel Perez owns the lone bronze (men’s individual foil).

    Host Singapore is on top with 7-4-7 followed by Vietnam (4-1-5), Thailand (2-3-7) and Malaysia (1-3-2). Indonesia is in sixth with three bronzes while Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Timor Lester are still in hunt for their first medal.

    Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team led by naturalized player Marcus Douthit is scheduled to leave for Singapore on Saturday. Joining the 25-year-old Douthit are collegiate standouts Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Jiovanni Jalalon, Baser Amer, Glenn Khobuntin, Jeth Troy Rosario, Earl Thompson, Norbert Torres, Prince Rivero and Almond Vosotros.

    The Sinag Pilipinas opens its title-retention bid on June 10 against Indonesia.

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