Team PH caps Aimag stint with 2 silvers
ASHGABAT—The Philippines closed out the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games here with two more silver medals and a bronze, punctuating a magnificent show that went beyond expectations.
International masters Jan Emmanuel Garcia and c ran smack into a pair of Chinese chess prodigies in 17-year-old Grandmaster Wei Yi and 21-year-old GM Xu Yinglun and settled for the silver in the finale of the men’s rapid team under-23 event.
Bowlers Maria Liza Del Rosario, Marie Alexis Sy, Marian Lara Posadas and Krizziah Lyn Tabora gallantly fought the South Korean world champions but also settled for the silver following a 873-801 defeat in the women’s team of four finals.
Garcia, head of Ateneo’s chess program, gave up a crucial pawn early and eventually fell prey to Wei in board 1 while Bersamina committed a series of small mistakes that Xu readily pounced on in Board 2.
“We didn’t expect to be in the finals because we’re only ranked sixth in the seedings,” said Bersamina, a two-time UAAP MVP from National University. “Our Chinese opponents are world-class with Wei being groomed as the next Magnus Carlsen.”
Women’s singles gold medalist Baek Seungja rolled a game-high 256 pinfalls and Jung Dawun compiled 233 to lead the Koreans. Posadas finished with 219 and Del Rosario added 211 for the Philippines.
“The Koreans played better, but this is a promising start for our bowling team,” said Philippine Olympic Committee secretary general Steve Hontiveros, the past president of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs, the international governing body in the sport.
Kenneth Chua also pocketed a silver in men’s singles.
Filipino athletes marched during Wednesday night’s glittering closing ceremonies along with thousands of athletes from 61 other countries held at the 35,000-seater Ashgabat Olympic Stadium.
They will bring home a medal haul of two golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes.
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