SEA Games: Gonzales, Raguin settle for silvers for PH | Inquirer Sports

SEA Games: Gonzales, Raguin settle for silvers for PH

THE PHILIPPINES’ Richard Gonzales eyes a return to Muhamad Muhamad of Malaysia during their quarterfinal showdown. Gonzales eventually made it to the gold medal match. RAFFY LERMA

THE PHILIPPINES’ Richard Gonzales eyes a return to Muhamad Muhamad of Malaysia during their quarterfinal showdown. Gonzales eventually made it to the gold medal match. RAFFY LERMA

SINGAPORE—Fencer Harlene Raguin and paddler Richard Gonzales provided the shining moments with two silver medals last night as the Philippines burst into the limelight of the 28th Southeast Asian Games here.

Gonzales saw his string of luck run out after Ning Gao stormed to victory, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3, with a devastating display of power and consistency in men’s table tennis singles at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“There’s no excuse. The Singaporeans are really good at this,” said Gonzales, duplicating his silver finish in the same event during the 2005 Manila Games.

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At nearby OCBC Arena, Raguin also seized another silver, increasing the haul of the 462-athlete Philippine delegation here to three silver medals and one bronze courtesy of Nathaniel Perez in the individual men’s foil.

Justine Gail Tinio, picked apart by Singapore’s Wenying Wang in the women’s individual foil finals, landed a silver Wednesday.

READ: ‘Hungry’ Tinio nets 1st silver for PH in SEA Games

Within sight of the gold, Raquin came to grief after Vietnam’s Tran Ti Len suddenly altered her ploy to prevail, 11-7, and nail the gold in women’s epee.

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The 32-year-old mother of two led in the first two rounds, lunging at Len’s neck without letup.

“She changed her strategy when I was up by three points. She began attacking the lower part of my body,” said Raquin, who also settled for the silver in the 2007 Thailand joust after defeating Len in the semifinals.

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Flaunting the same uncanny patience, Gonzales partially broke through the Singaporean domination by outlasting Clarence Chew, 11-14, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10, in the semifinals and forging the finale with Gao.

As expected, the country closed out its maiden campaign in netball with another crushing defeat, this time against Brunei, 56-32.

READ: SEA Games: Brunei netballers beat PH 56-32

And the Under-23 Azkals continued to be a disappointment as they took a 3-1 loss to Cambodia Wednesday night.

The second straight set back was big blow to the Azkals in their bid to make the semifinals of the tough tournament as they will now need to win all three remaining games in Group A to advance.

READ: U-23 Azkals absorb 2nd straight defeat in SEA Games football

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The new and untested netball team succumbed to reigning Asian champion and host Singapore, 82-12, Wednesday night. But at least it was better than the 112-11 defeat to defending champion Malaysia last Tuesday.

TAGS: Harlene Raguin, Justine Gail Tinio, Nathaniel Perez, Philippines, richard gonzales, SEA Games, Sports

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