A big step to PH Olympic dream | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

A big step to PH Olympic dream

/ 01:55 AM June 14, 2015

HIS MISSION in the United States  must have  been  very important otherwise Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) president Ricky Vargas  would  have been in Singapore to personally witness the performance of his boxers  and their eventual  triumph.

Abap secretary general Pato Gregorio reported that the Philippines sent 10 boxers to the 28th SEA Games  “and all of  them  delivered—five golds, three silvers and two bronzes.”


“The Philippines finally dethroned perennial overall boxing  champ Thailand.  Abap chair Manny V. Pangilinan,  who is also in the US  with Ricky for business meetings, is very happy with the golden feat. The two were  so elated when they were apprised of the good news,” Gregorio said.

The gold medalists are Josie Gabuco, Ian Clark Bautista, Mario Fernandez, Junel Cantancio, and Eumir Marcial.


Yes, Vargas wished he was in Singapore  to support the PH boxers, “but I probably would have stayed  outside the  gym during the fights waiting  for  the  result. Watching the fights as  they happen  is too  stressful for me.”

“What I missed  was personally  shaking  the  hands of each member of Team Abap. Will do that when I return.”

The Abap head said they will take it  step by step toward the achievement of  their goal.

“Winning five golds in the SEA Games is one big step toward our Olympic   dream. Remember, we still have Olympians Barriga and Suarez fighting  and training overseas.”

I still recall the heartbreak of the boxing delegation in the 2014 Incheon Asian  Games when Charly Suarez, Team Abap’s  last hope for a gold  medal, finished  with only a silver.  Despite the huge incentives  dangled to the boxers, we  were good only  for one silver and three bronze medals, compliments of Fernandez, Lopez and Barriga i the last Asian Games. In 2011, the start of Vargas’ tenure as Abap president, Team PH won four golds in the SEA Games held in Indonesia. In the 2013 Burma (Myanmar) meet, we  won three.

* * *

Kobe Paras attributes his back-to-back success in the 2015 Fiba World Under-18 3×3 slamdunk competition  to team effort.

“My teammates, as well as my  coach, all helped to make me win.  I  couldn’t have  done it all by myself. We would talk about how I would execute my moves,  especially the one that involves them and they would help me practice. I have them to thank for my  victory,” said Paras, who was only 15 when he won his first slamdunk title in Jakarta in 2013.

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TAGS: golds, PH Olympic, SEA Games, Singapore
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