Phl flounders in wushu; Myanmar leads
Gerry Carpio (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2013 - 12:00am

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – The Philippine team experienced severe draught on the second day of the pre-SEA Games event of wushu yesterday as host Myanmar, scoring breakthrough victories in its native sport of chinlone, made inroads in the sport to surge ahead with eight gold medals heading to the formal opening of the 27th Southeast Asian Games tomorrow at the capital city main stadium.

Myanmar emerged the early runaway overall leader with a haul of eight gold, two silver and three bronze medals, leaving Malaysia at far second (2-4-8), defending champion Thailand at third (2-2-1), Indonesia at fourth (2-1-2) and Vietnam at fifth (2-1-1).

Still without a gold were Cambodia and Laos at joint sixth (0-2-2), Singapore at eighth (0-1-2) and the Philippines at ninth (0-1-0), its lone silver coming from Daniel Parantac, John Keithley Chan and Norlence Ardee Catolico in the men’s duilian (pair or team) event of wushu Saturday.

Still seeking their first medal are the oil-rich state of Brunei and the newly formed independent state of Timor Leste, a former territory of Indonesia.

Malaysia scored in men’s duilian and men’s nanquan, while the other events were won by Vietnam (women’s chanquan), Malaysia (women’s nandao) and Indonesia (women’s taijiquan).

Filipinos Natasha Enriquez and Kariza Kris Chan were entered in the women’s taijiquan but did not show up and were considered in default.

The Philippines hopes to rebound over the next two days when the Filipino boxers begin their quest for four gold medals and the wrestlers grapple for at least two as action steps up in the 11-day, 11-nation conclave where the 210 Filipino athletes are competing in 26 of the 35 sports offering 460 gold medals.

The men’s basketball competitions, which started yesterday, put the Filipinos cagers, led by Marcus Douthit on the floor today, when they face Singapore in the third match at 2 p.m.. Next on their schedule is Cambodia on Dec. 10 in the second match at 12 noon. After a one-day breather, they collide with Myanmar on Dec. 12, at 4 p.m., then Thailand Dec. 13, at 2 p.m., Indonesia Dec 14, at 10 a.m. They complete their prelims schedule against Malaysia Dec 15, at 4 p.m.

The women cagers, a last minute-entry following their defeat of defending champion Thailand in the FIBA Asia eliminator, mount their drive for a first ever gold medal when they face Malaysia today at 10 a.m. Their next opponents are Thailand Dec. 10, at 10 a.m., Indonesia Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. and Myanmar on Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.

In completed preliminaries yesterday, Thailand crushed Singapore, 69-59, while Malaysia towed with Indonesia, 61-53.

In women’s action, Indonesia reduced Myanmar to smithereens, 104-39.

With the luck of the draw, four women assured themselves of a bronze each, with Nesthy Petecio perhaps taking it a step farther when she takes on a Thai counterpart in the 57kg. division semifinals today. Also in the semis are Josie Gabuco (48kg), Maricris Igam (51kg) and Irish Magno (54kg).

Dennis Galvan was also aiming to advance later Sunday in the 64kg class. Should he prevail, he joins teammates Junel Cantancio (60kg) and Mark Anthony Barriga (49kg) in the next round. Drawing opening  byes are Asian Games veteran Rey Saludar (52kg), Mario Fernandez (56kg) and Wilfredo Lopez (75kg).

Wrestling and pencak silat kick off today with the other sports following suit in the next few days and go full-blast.

Except for cross-country cyclist March McQuinn Aleonar contracting a bum stomach, the other members of the Phl contingent are already here and doing well in gearing up for their respective competitions.


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