Water polo, booters strike Team Philippines also dazzles on ice, sand
The Philippine men’s water polo team in a huddle during a break in a 6-6 draw with titleholder Singapore.
Water polo, booters strike Team Philippines also dazzles on ice, sand
Joey Villar, Dante Navarro, John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2019 - 12:00am

CAPAS, Tarlac – The Philippines blew a four-goal lead and ended up with a 6-6 draw with many-time champion Singapore to assure itself of at least a bronze medal in men’s water polo of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City Aquatics Center here last night.

And on a night to remember in football, the Philippines scored a twin kill over Malaysia with the young Azkals hacking out a 1-0 victory to stay alive in the semifinal race in Group A at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and the Malditas hammering a 5-0 shutout to nail a historic Last-4 berth in their side of the battle at the Biñan Stadium.

Stephan Schrock sent his corner kick past the Malaysian keeper and into the back of the net in the 72nd minute to the delight of the home crowd with the reversal bringing back to mind the Phl XI’s legendary stunner versus Malaysia in 1991, also at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

With their first win following a draw and a loss, the Azkals U-22 improved to four points on level with second-running Cambodia, which it drew with in the opener.

Myanmar is way ahead of the five-team pack with seven points on two victories and a draw but the Philippines is tipped to get past lightweight Timor Leste on Dec. 4.

A three-way fight also looms in Group B with Vietnam and Indonesia tied with six points with defending champion Thailand, stunned by Indonesia the other night, hard-pressed to rebound with three points.

Over in Biñan, Sarina Bolden fired a first-half hat-trick to propel the Malditas to a 5-0 shutout, guaranteeing their first-ever semis stint with four points in Group A action.

Back in Tarlac, the Filipinos appeared headed to victory over the Singaporeans when they strung up four straight goals but faltered in the last two periods, enabling the 2017 titlists to rally and salvage a draw.

Indonesia, which was held to a draw (6-6) by the Philippines on a Paolo Serrano’s five-meter penalty shot Tuesday, claimed the gold earlier with a 14-7 thumping of Malaysia, ending Singapore’s reign for more than 50 years in the sport.

With a win and two draws, the Philippines shoots for the silver against winless Malaysia tomorrow.

A loss, however, coupled with a Singapore victory over Thailand, would hand the many-time champs the silver.

In other fronts, the hosts sizzled at the start of the ice skating and men’s beach volleyball competitions on the eve of the Games’ inaugurals but floundered in women’s beach volley and netball.

Alisson Petricheto delivered a dazzling performance, cleanly executing a combo of jumps and spins in a solid routine to take pole position  with her score of 53.000 in the ice skating’s seniors singles short program at SM Megamall.

Bronze medalist last time, Petricheto made a case for a gold medal at home as she got ahead of Singaporean Ing Chloe Xuanling (50.700), the silver-winning skater in Malaysia, heading into the culminating free skate program on Sunday.

Petricheto earned 30.87 in the technical elements, 22.78 from the presentation, with 5.83 from skating skills, 5.33 from transitions, 5.75 from performance, 5.58 from composition, and 6.0 from the interpretation of music to show the way in the nine-man field.

Christopher Caluza is closely trailing reigning men’s champion Julian Yee of Malaysia with another Filipino Edrian Paul Celestino at third in the men’s side of the event.

Caluza was awarded 62.400 points to take second spot behind Yee, who carded a leading 63.400. Celestino garnered 61.500 for his routine for a shot at the podium.

In Subic, James Buytrago and Jaron Requinton delivered the first win for Team Philippines in beach volleyball, overpowering the unfancied Timor Leste pair of Robson Xavier and Christian Jean, 21-16, 21-13, at the Subic Tennis Court.

Minutes later, the second Philippine team of Jude Garcia and Edmar Bonono followed suit, blasting Silvano Aduauo and Denyanos Belo, also from Timor Leste, 21-7, 21-16, in a pair of victories that should serve as morale-booster for the hosts seeking to help produce the needed medals to the country’s drive for the overall championship.

The Filipino spikers will shoot for their second straight win against the Malaysians tomorrow.

Buytrago and Requinton will take on Jackson Kiet Sing Ting and Raja Nazmi Saifuddin Raja Hussin of Malaysia’s first team at 2 p.m. while Garcia and Bonono will clash with the Malaysian second team made up of Rafi Asruki Nordin and Mohd Aizzat Mohd Zokri.

But the pairs of Sisi Rondina-Bernadeth Pons and Dzi Gervacio-Dji Rodriguez suffered stinging setbacks to tough Indonesia sides.


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