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Sports

12 Pinoys enter world arnis final

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CEBU – The Philippine team bounced back on the third day as 12 stickfighters advanced to the final round of the seniors division yesterday in the eighth World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) Championships at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall.

Despite complaints hounding the organization of the event, Team Philippines is now assured of four more gold medals in this three-day arnisfest organized by WEKAF chairman emeritus Dionisio Cañete and hosted by the Doce Pares in cooperation with the Cebu Visitors and Convention Bureau (CVCB), the Cebu City Government, Casino Filipino-PagCor Sports-Cebu, Nature’s Spring, Rctv, Cebu Pacific and USA-made Calmoseptine Ointment.

Eight Pinoy stickfighters will be facing each other in four different divisions, a huge improvement from their lone gold medal output on the second day.

Hawaiian expat Scott Slezak leads the Filpino charge as he frustrated former champion Allan Montoya of California in the first round before beating Erwin Villezon also of the USA to arrange a finals battle against Philippine Navy’s Rogelio San Esteban in the welterweight division.

In the super bantamweight division, Ruben Martinez of the Philippines will go up against teammate Jim Clyde Garciano, while in the senior’s featherweight group, Lolito Ocubilo will be squaring off with Dodong Conifranco for the gold.

In the men’s featherweight, James Clark Robabarte will be meeting fellow Filipino Gregorio Arevalo.

Rolando Moraña, also of the Philippines, will try to deny Australia’s Mario Pastro of the gold medal, while Bernie Inot will be taking on Switzerland’s Christian Weber.

Lumajaca Alfran will aim for the gold for the Philippines against Alan Taylor of the USA, while Febie Gabutan will face off with Swiss Simone Schulz in the ladies light weight group.

The verbal complaints came from participants and WEKAF working staff against American table officials for alleged disorganized handling of the fight proceedings.

Fighters and coaches complained that fight diagrams were hidden in folders instead of being presented, leaving them confused.

Table officials also failed to announce which players received a bye leading to complaints of some stickfighters having more matches than their American opponents.

In fact, a Filipino stickfighter have fought thrice already, while all his opponents have had only fought once.

Speculations were heard from non-USA participants that the table officials are favoring American players so they can reach the final round of the tournament.

Meanwhile, WEKAF will be holding a Masters Seminar Phase 1 today at the White Gold Restaurant. The seminar is open to all players and coaches who want to further hone their skills.

vuukle comment

ALAN TAYLOR

ALLAN MONTOYA OF CALIFORNIA

BERNIE INOT

CALMOSEPTINE OINTMENT

CASINO FILIPINO

CEBU CITY GOVERNMENT

CEBU PACIFIC

CEBU VISITORS AND CONVENTION BUREAU

CHRISTIAN WEBER

CITY CEBU TRADE HALL

DIONISIO CA

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