Villena upstages Balladares in Subic
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2019 - 12:00am

SUBIC BAY, Philippines — Team Philippines mainstays Emerson Villena and Ridgely Balladares steered their respective crewmen and turned the Subic Bay International Regatta match race into an exciting head-to-head showdown Friday.

Balladares, gold medalist in the same event of the 2015 SEA Games, was untouchable in the round-robin stage of the day-long event but bowed to Villena and his crew of four in the most crucial races.

Villena, who had long stayed in the shadows of Balladares, struck hard in the final races and prevailed, 3-2, in the match races of the annual event put up by the Philipine Sailing Association.

It was a hard-earned victory for Villena, silver medalist in the 2015 SEA Games and bronze winner in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The match races in this year’s SBIR served as a solid tune-up race for Villena and Balladares and their all-Filipino crew members, who will represent the Philippines in the 30th SEA Games scheduled this November.

The waters of Subic will play host to this year’s SEA Games, where the Filipinos, as hosts, will be hard-pressed to deliver the gold medals.

Jorene Durana and Maria Videira and their respective all-female crew also saw action as part of their preparations for the SEA Games.

Fleet races were being held as of presstime. The awarding and victory party for all participants in this year’s SBIR was scheduled last night at Subic’s Lighthouse.

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