PH Cagers up to the task | Inquirer Sports

PH Cagers up to the task

National five caps 29-gold, 6th-place PH finish

SINGAPORE—The men’s basketball team ended the country’s campaign at the 28th Southeast Asian Games here with an expected championship victory over Indonesia Monday night, capping the Philippines’ modest 29-gold medal harvest in the competition.

The Filipino cagers, made up mostly of collegiate stalwarts, downed the Indonesians, 72-64, at OCBC Arena Hall 1 of the Singapore Sports Hub to complete a sixth-place overall finish for the country.

With the men’s basketball gold, the Philippines posted a final medal tally of 29-36-66, well ahead of previous Games host Burma (Myanmar) with 12-25-31, but way behind fifth-placed Indonesia (45-58-74).

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Thailand took the overall title for the second successive edition with 92 gold, 83 silver and 68 bronze medals, followed closely by Singapore with 83-73-102. Vietnam (73-52-60) was fourth and Malaysia (60-55-66) fifth.

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The campaign that clearly lacked an oomph from the outset has prompted Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia to propose, among others, measures that would improve the plight of the national coaches who, he said, lacked 100-percent focus because they needed to keep two jobs to make ends meet.

Squash added a bronze to the country’s tally after Ricky Espinola and David Pelino bowed to Indonesia’s Ade Furkon and Sandi Perdana, 11-8, 11-3, in the men’s jumbo doubles semifinals at Tanglin Club court 4.

The 34-year-old Espinola and the 21-year-old Pelino made it that far with superb victories over Singapore (11-4, 11-5) and Burma (11-2, 11-7) in the preliminaries.

Sepak takraw’s Jason Huerte, Emmanuel Escote and Rheyjey Ortuoste bowed to a Burmese trio, 22-20, 13-21, 16-21, later in the  night and settled for the silver medal.

Over at Singapore Indoor Stadium, Ronel Estanislao and Philip Escueta took the bronze in men’s doubles badminton, yielding to the Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo, 14-21, 12-21.

The women’s basketball team capped its disappointing run here with an 82-72 win over Singapore, hours after the women’s water polo squad lost to Indonesia, 20-6, to finish fifth and last in the sport like their male compatriots.

Filipino athletes in badminton, volleyball and water polo are the only ones expected to attend the closing ceremony at National Sports Hub stadium as the bulk of the 400-strong delegation had already returned to Manila.

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TAGS: 28th Southeast Asian Games, fifth, Indonesia, medal, Singapore, Sports

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