Sanshou fighter wins first gold for PH in Myanmar

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World champion Jessie Aligaga of wushu delivered the country’s first gold medal in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games on Monday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.

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Aligaga overpowered Dasmantua Simbolon of Indonesia, 2-0, to rule the men’s 48-kilogram sanda event.

Divine Wally, Evita Zamora and Dembert Arcita were scheduled to fight in their respective final matches on Monday night.

The men’s duilian team of Daniel Parantac, Norlence Catolico and John Keithley Chan, earlier got a silver medal.

In boxing, China Open champion Nesthy Petecio overpowered Tassamalee Thongjan of Thailand to advance to the finals of the women’s featherweight category.

Seven more Filipino boxers are already assured of bronze medals after reaching the semifinals.

They are 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gold medalist flyweight Rey Saludar, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, middleweight Wilfredo Lopez and light welterweight Dennis Galvan in the men’s division, and flyweight Maricris Igam, bantamweight Irish Magno, light flyweight Josie Gabuco and featherweight Nesthy Petecio in the women’s class.

Light flyweight Mark Barriga and lightweight Junel Cantancio, on the other hand, will need to hurdle their respective quarterfinal foes to advance to the medal round. Barriga takes on Hungh Ngoc Viet of Vietnam while Cantancio battles Keochi Xayyasane of Laos.

In basketball, Perlas ng Pilipinas outclassed Malaysia, 65-59, to book its first win in the women’s division.

Merenciana Arayi nailed 14 points while Analyn Almazan chipped in 12 markers as the Philippines joined Indonesia on top of the standings with 1-0 mark. Indonesia mauled Myanmar, 104-39, on Sunday.

“This is a good win going to the Thailand game. They played together as we set out to do, our defense held and we were also able to break down their defense,” said women’s national head coach Haydee Ong.

The Philippines will be facing defending champion Thailand on Tuesday.

“Thailand has the style with Malaysia, which is drive-and-kick. So we’ve got to again tighten up on their drive-and-kick penetrations and use our quickness to full advantage,” added Ong.

Host Myanmar is still on top of the medal board with 11 golds, two silvers and three bronzes (as of 5 p.m.) followed by Indonesia (4-2-3), Malaysia (3-5-10), Thailand (2-4-1), Vietnam (2-3-2), the Philippines (1-1-0), Cambodia (0-2-4), Laos (0-2-4) and Singapore (0-1-2).

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