A solitary gold on Day 6 from paddler Nestor Cordova | Inquirer Sports

A solitary gold on Day 6 from paddler Nestor Cordova

10:35 PM November 16, 2011

PALEMBANG, Indonesia—Paddler Nestor Cordova prevented Team Philippines from plunging deeper in the standings of the 26th Southeast Games Wednesday when he captured the gold medal in the men’s singles sculls on Wednesday at the Lake Cipule in West Java.

Motivated by the trust shown by Lithuanian coach Rolandas Kazlauskas, who chose him over three-time SEA Games champion Benjie Tolentino, Cordova surged ahead at the halfway mark and ruled the 2,000-meter event in seven minutes and 18.8 seconds.

Cordova’s surprise victory turned out to be the Filipinos’ lone bright moment for the day as they settled for seven silvers on various fronts and remained sixth in the race for overall supremacy.


A Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy, Cordova, pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental, finished nearly three seconds faster than Thailand’s Chaichana Thakum (7:21.6) and over six seconds better than Myanmar’s Aung Ko Min.


Late in the night, the women’s softball team trounced the Indonesians, 5-1, and will shoot for the gold on Saturday at the Jakabaring Sport City field.

Missing the golds were marathoner Eric Panique, Grandmaster John Paul Gomez, cue wielder Francisco de la Cruz, wrestler Roque Mana-ay, archers Jennifer Chan and Earl Benjamin Yap and bowlers Biboy Rivera and Frederick Ong.

Unable to show the fiery form that handed him the men’s singles title, Ong could only muster a six-game series of 1277 and, combined with Rivera’s 1213, gave them a 207.50 average in the men’s doubles won by Malaysians Adrian Ang and Liew Kien Liang with an average of 212.90.

Panique, taking the cudgels for defending champion Eduardo “Vertek” Buenavista, persevered to clock 2:28.26 for the 42K route, but could not get past Indonesia’s Yahusa (2:27.45) at the conclusion of Games’ centerpiece athletics. Struggling for form, Buenavista timed 2:29.09 and settled for the bronze this time. Marathon queen Jho-an Banayag landed only sixth.

The touted Mana-ay dropped his final bout to Vietnam’s Nguyen Then Anh in the 60 kg division and settled for the silver like Paolo Santos in the 50 kg freestyle event.

A nagging knee injury forced Jerry Angana to pass on the fight for bronze in the 60 kg freestyle. Thus far, the wrestlers have collected two golds, three silvers and one bronze.


Chan and Yap were on target after the morning eliminations but fizzled out against their rivals from Myanmar and Indonesia in the final rounds.

Despite winning his last two matches, Gomez could only gain a tie with Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem and eventually lost the blindfold chess gold by virtue of the winner-over-the-other rule. Le beat Gomez in the crucial seventh round. Another Filipino, GM Darwin Laylo, took the bronze.

De la Cruz missed the gold of carom billiards to Vietnamese Ma Minh Cam, 70-100, after 22 innings. Earlier, Cam downed Efren “Bata” Reyes in their semifinal duel.

Settling for the bronze medal in the rowing men’s light doubles were Alvin Amposta and rookie Edgar Ilas.

As of 9 p.m. (10 p.m. in Manila), the Filipinos could only garner 15 golds, 28 silvers and 34 bronzes, way behind the Malaysians (27-24-44) and the Singaporeans (29-32-46), who are nudging each other out for fourth place.

The Indonesians firmed up their hold of top spot with an 87-66-69 tally, even as Vietnam (54-55-59) surprisingly overtook reigning overall titlist Thailand (52-41-60).

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Defending champions Alice Kate Aparri and Charly Suarez whipped their respective opponents to barge into the boxing semifinals even as Analisa Cruz and Junel Cantancio bowed out of contention. With reports from Recah Trinidad

TAGS: Alvin Amposta, Biboy Rivera, Boxing, Chess, Eric Panique, Frederick Ong, Indonesia, John Paul Gomez, Marathon, Philippines, rowing, sculls, SEA Games, Sports

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