World champion Jessie Aligaga and Dembert Arcita of wushu delivered the country’s first two gold medals in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games on Monday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Aligaga overpowered Dasmantua Simbolon of Indonesia, 2-0, to rule the men’s 48-kilogram, while Arcita dominated Phithak Paokrathok of Thailand, 2-0 to top the men’s 52-kg. in sanda.
Divine Wally (women’s 48 kgs.) and Evita Zamora (women’s 52 kgs.), settled for silver medals in their events.
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 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 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, for its first win in the women’s division.
The men’s team also scored its first win by nipping Singapore, 88-75.
EMIL C. NOGUERA