Picson upbeat of PH boxing team’s chances in SEAG sans Barriga, Suarez
Despite the absence of two of its contenders, Alliances of Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson has expressed his confidence that the Filipino boxers are ready to vie for a medal in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.
Though the Philippine team will be Olympians Mark Barriga and Charly Suarez, who were both tapped by AIBA to participate in the ABP World Series of Boxing program, Picson said that he is optimistic with the chances of 10 boxers they are fielding in the biennial meet in Singapore kicking off on June 6.
“Our boxers are ready far as they could prepare,” he said in the weekly PSA Forum on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“Admittedly, Barriga and Charly Suarez are our top boxers. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones competent to win the SEA Games,” he said.
Rogen Ladon (49 kg) will replace Barriga in the light flyweight division. He will be joined by Ian Clark Bautista (52 kg), Mario Fernandez (56 kg), Junel Cantancio (60 kg), Eumir Felix Marcial (64 kg), and Wilfredo Lopez (69 kg) in the men’s division.
Josie Gabuco (48 kg), Irish Magno (51 kg), Nesthy Petecio (54 kg), and Risa Pasuit (57 kg), meanwhile, will banner the women’s contingent for the regional competitions set from June 6 to 10.
The Philippine men’s boxing team will be handled by coaches Pat Gaspi, Boy Velasco, and Romeo Brin, while Roel Velasco and Mitchell Martinez will take care of the women’s side.
The squad is set to leave for Singapore on June 3.
Picson said that the ABAP has exhausted all of the options possible to prepare the athletes for the SEA Games.
“We have done everything possible out there. Binigyan natin ng chance ang mga boxers na magkaroon ng magandang performance para sa bansa. Batid ng boxers yung expectations at alam nila ang naghihintay sa kanila kung makuha nila yung inaasam na gold,” he said.
(We gave the boxers the chance to have a good perfromance for the country. The boxers know the expectations and they know what’s waiting for them when they get the coveted gold.)
The boxing executive, though, said that he is trying to manage everyone’s expectations when it comes to the medal haul for the boxing team.
“Alam nating malakas ang Thailand. Alam nating upcoming ang Vietnam. Alam nating puspusan ang training ng Indonesia at Malaysia, but other than that, wala na tayong alam sa kalaban,” Picson said. “We will do our best. Our boxers are good enough, but winning a medal is a totally different thing.”
(We know that Thailand is strong, Vietnam is up and coming. We know Indonesia and Malaysia are training hard, but other than that, we don’t know much about the competition.) CC
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