Filipinos bungle SEA Games mission | Inquirer Sports

Filipinos bungle SEA Games mission

Rañola, Ong, Alquiros shine brightest for Philippines
By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 10:45 PM November 22, 2011

Photo by Romy Homillada

PALEMBANG, Indonesia—A cue artist, a bowler and a bridge player provided brightest moments for a Philippine team that bungled its mission at the 26th Southeast Asian Games that ended Tuesday here.

Iris Rañola snared two individual billiards golds, Frederick Ong torched the lanes in Jakarta to emerge the most bemedalled Filipino, while Francisco Alquiros took an individual gold, a team title and added another team silver at the bridge tables of the Jayakarta Hotel here.


Flashing impeccable form, Rañola ruled both the 8-ball and 9-ball women’s singles, while Ong pocketed the men’s singles gold, added silvers in the men’s doubles, Masters and teams of five, and nailed in a bronze in the trios of the bowling competitions at Jaya Ancol Bowling Center in Jakarta.


Alquiros, who paid his way to these Games like the rest of the 12-strong bridge squad, won the men’s butler event and then combined with Gemma Mariano-Tan for the mixed butler title. He was also part of the mixed team that bagged the silver.

For her golden double, Rañola will get P200,000 under the Philippine Sports Commission incentive scheme that pays P100,000 for a gold, P50,000 for a silver and P10,000 for a bronze.

Also doing his part for the Filipinos, who wound up a dismal sixth in the overall medal race, is Grandmaster Wesley So. The 18-year-old chess whiz posted a perfect 9.0 points in clinching the men’s blitz gold. So also placed second in the men’s individual standard.

As a team, the taekwondo jins and the boxers were the most successful with four golds each. With more athletes and more medals at stake, the jins expectedly came up with more silvers (3 to 1) and bronzes (5 to 1) than the boxers.

The champion jins are the poomsae women’s trio of Rani Ann Ortega, Janice Lagman and Camille Alarilla; Japoy Lizardo; Camille Manalo and Kristie Alora, while the triumphant boxers are lightweight Charly Suarez, light welterweight Dennis Galvan, pinweight Josie Gabuco and light fly Alice Kate Aparri.

There were plenty of under-achievers, most prominent of whom are the swimmers.
Good for four golds in the 2005 SEA Games back home, eight golds in the 2007 edition in Nakhon Ratchasima and four golds in the 2007 Laos SEA Games, the swimmers went home without a gold.


The tracksters, who led the gold haul in Vientiane with seven, settled for just two this time from long jumper Marestella Torres, who set a meet record leap of 6.71 meters, and steeplechaser Rene Herrera.

Their top hope Rupert Zaragosa weakened by food poisoning in the final round, the well-trained, well-funded golfers ended up without a gold, unlike in Laos where they were good for two.

With young sensation Jayson Valdez unable to find his mark and Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla unable to defend his title, the shooters also fired blanks.

This year’s competitions will also be remembered for the end of the nine-gold SEA Games streak of judoka John Baylon, who announced his retirement after his defeat, and the failure of Cecil Mamiit to defend his men’s singles title.

With only 36 golds, 56 silvers and 77 bronzes to show, the Filipinos limped home at sixth, their worst finish since 1977, when they first joined the Games. They also landed sixth in Thailand four years ago, but they did better then with a 41-91-96 medal tally.

Though the Indonesians romped to their 10th overall championship with a medal hoard of 182 golds, 151 silvers and 143 bronzes, their jubilation turned to mourning late Tuesday when their most coveted football gold vanished, snatched from their grip by the defending champion Malaysians after a penalty shootout.

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Deposed titlist Thailand landed a far second with a 109-100-120 output, followed by Vietnam (96-92-100), Malaysia (59-50-81) and Singapore (42-45-73), which underscored its swimming dominance with 17 golds.

TAGS: Billiards, Bowling, Bridge, Francisco Alquiros, Frederick Ong, Indonesia, Iris Ranola, Philippines, Pool, SEA Games, Sports

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