MAASIN, Southern Leyte—Asian Games standout Victorio Saludar III moved on the threshold of regaining his Philippine team slot Friday night as he helped Davao del Norte rule the PLDT-Abap National Open Boxing Championships at Maasin City Gym.
Brushing off the rust of a two-year layoff from the ring after clinching the bronze medal in the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad, Saludar, who incurred a hand injury and got suspended by the national federation for disciplinary reasons, staged a one-minute-ten-second workout against local bet Michael Kaibigan in their duel for the elite boys light flyweight title.
The 21-year-old Saludar pounded Kaibigan to a mandatory eight-count twice en route to the Referee Stopped Contest victory that would earn him a recommendation for re-inclusion into the Philippine team set to compete in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games in December.
Other contributors to Davao del Norte’s seven-gold haul were Michael John Bahena (junior boys flyweight), Gabriel Rabicyle (youth boys pinweight, Jolan Bunghanoy (elite boys flyweight), Quirino Mellejor Jr. (elite boys bantam), Daryl Ramos (elite boys lightweight) and Jay Ar Inson (elite boys light welter), who posted the event’s shortest win, a 21-second RSC victory over Maasin’s Richard Bacala.
“Yes, we will recommend him (Saludar) for re-inclusion in the national training pool,” Abap executive director Ed Picson said after the event witnessed by Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado and Gov. Damian Mercado.
Coming in a distant second in the gold medal chase was Bago City, which bagged three courtesy of James Palicte (youth boys lightweight), Argie Alabado (youth boys flyweight) and Jossa Santestiban (junior girls bantam).
Misamis Oriental, winningest team last year, slipped to third with two golds that came from Beverly Casero (youth girls light flyweight) and Presco Carcosia (junior boys light bantam) and four silvers.
General Santos City and Mandaue City also captured two golds each, but GenSan could only account for two silvers while Mandaue had none.