PALEMBANG, Indonesia—The plodding, sputtering Team Philippines ground to a complete halt at the 26th Southeast Asian Games here Friday.
Reduced to scrounging for gold medals the past few days, the Filipinos found none in all venues and appeared headed for a gloomy stint in the biennial meet.
After eight days of action, the Philippines could only show 19 gold, 33 silver and 44 bronze medals and was hopelessly stuck in sixth place in the 11-nation field that is being trashed by virtual overall champion Indonesia with a hoard of 117-90-81 as of 6 p.m. (7 p.m. in Manila).
Vietnam stayed at second with a 70-65-66 tally, with reigning titlist Thailand right behind with 67-60-73. Malaysia came next with 40-40-53 followed by Singapore in fifth spot with 32-38-60.
The Filipinos managed a silver through the men’s soft tennis team, which yielded to Indonesia, 0-3, in the afternoon finals at Jakabaring Sport City.
The women’s soft tennis squad contributed a bronze, like the men’s sabre team in Jakarta of individual gold medalist Walbert Mendoza, Giancarlo Nocom, Eric Brando II and Edmon Velez, as well as the mixed wakeboard team of individual bronze medal winner Samantha Bermudez, Mark Griffin and Carlo dela Torre.
Pool maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes trounced Indonesia’s Tonny Ho, 40-18, and Reynaldo Grandea downed Myanmar’s Pauk Sa, 40-18, to barge into the carom 3-cushion semifinals and make up for Jundel Mazon’s 8-9 loss to Indonesia’s Irsal Nasution in the men’s 9-ball singles quarterfinals at the Ogan Permata Indah Hall.
A sailing medal is within sight in West Java as Rubin Cruz Jr. occupied third after eight of 10 races in the Optimist class.
In Jakarta, the Philippine men’s team defused the Malaysians’ challenge to prevail, 103-74, even as the cagebelles yielded a devastating 73-75 decision in overtime to the reigning champion Thais at the BritAma Arena.
There were more debacles for Team Philippines on other fronts as Kristian Guerrero and Jonathan Feleo wound up sixth and eighth and Ina Flores fifth in their respective qualifying rounds in sport climbing’s speed event.
Weightlifter Nestor Colonia landed fourth in the 56 kg class with a combined 258 kg in snatch and clean and jerk, way off the winning 280 kg total of Vietnam’s Tran Le Quoc Toam Voc.
In wushu, nanquan bet Thornton Quieney Sayan wound up sixth.
A brighter Saturday looms as the Blu Boys battle the Indonesians for the baseball gold and the men’s and women’s softball teams tackle their Indonesian counterparts in the finals.
Boxing could give Team Philippines a lift with four finalists in Alice Kate Appari, Josie Gabuco, Josie Petecio and Dennis Galvan.
Seeking berths in the finals are Asian Games champion Rey Saludar and Charlie Suarez.
Reyes and Grandia will continue their quest in the men’s carom 3-cushion and so do Francisco “Django” Bustamante and Mazon in the men’s 9-ball competitition.
European-trained Filipino equestrian riders plunge into action in the show jumping event at the Arthayasa Stables Country Club in West Java.
Busan Asian Games gold medalist Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, the team mananger, said 20-year-old Diego Lorenzo, silver medalist in the individual show jumping in the 2007 SEA Games, and Sydney Games Olympian Toni Leviste, now based in Belgium, will banner the squad that also includes former Yale standout Joker Arroyo, daughter and namesake of the senator, and 2006 World Cup finalist Michelle Barrera.
The Filipinos’ bid to improve on their fifth-place finish in the 2009 Laos SEA Games were further dampened by the disqualification of BMX riders Alexis Manosa and Daniel Patrick Manabat for having dual UCI licenses—one Filipino, one American—Thursday night in West Java.