Filipino boxers all set to enter Calamba training âbubbleâ
Nesthy Petecio
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Filipino boxers all set to enter Calamba training ‘bubble’

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2021 - 2:59pm

MANILA, Philippines – And so it begins.

Tokyo hopeful Nesthy Petecio together with 16 other national boxers and coaches enter the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna Friday to start its much delayed Olympic training.

Petecio, along with fellow Mindanao-based boxers Carlo Paalam, Marvin Tabamo, John Paul Panuayan, Mario Fernandez and Marjon Pianar, will fly in anytime Friday to join their Manila and Luzon-based teammates, including Aira Villegas and former world champion Josie Gabuco in the “Calam-bubble.”

National coaches Elmer Pamisa, Nolito and Roel Velasco, Mitchel Martinez, Pat Gaspi, and Jojen and Rogen Ladon are also scheduled to accompany their pugs the same day.

Olympic-bound Irish Magno and Australian consultant Don Abnett will go in Saturday while Ian Clark Bautista, James Palicte, Jere Samuel dela Cruz, Riza Pasuit and coach Reynaldo Galido will plane in on Monday from Bacolod City.

“We wish our athletes who are training in Calamba good luck, the hope of the country is now on your shoulders,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, whose agency has shelled out P15 million to fund the three-month camp.

Karate’s Olympic bets Jamie Lim, Jason Ramil Macaalay, Ivan Agustin, Shrief Afif and Alwayn Batican and coaches Jonel Perania and Norman Montalvo are setting foot at the Inspire Saturday.

Taekwondo’s Tokyo hopes Kristie Elaine Alora, Kurt Barbosa, Samuel Morrison, and Arven Alcantara are entering on Sunday along with fellow national team mainstays Joseph Chua, Babie Jessica Canabal and Laila Delo and coaches Carlos Padilla, Al Christian dela Cruz and Luis de Mesa.

Of the boxing team, Petecio stands with the best chance as the 2019 women’s world champion is determined to claim a Tokyo seat after a heartbreaking effort in last year’s qualifying event in Amman, Jordan.

“I’m determined to qualify to Tokyo and make my country proud,” said Petecio.

Gabuco, a former world champion and multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, has replaced Claudine Veloso in the last minute to help train Magno as a sparring partner.

The initial list numbered to 47 but was pruned down to 41 because of some changes.

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