PH sports celebrates 3 world champs
Two athletes brought luster back to their sport’s fading glory, while another threw his name among Philippine boxing’s growing list of icons.
Bowler Krizziah Lyn Tabora captured the World Cup to snap the country’s 14-year title drought in the tournament.
Billiards player Carlo Biado also snared the World 9-Ball crown after seven years even as boxer Jerwin Ancajas successfully defended his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title thrice this year.
Here’s a look back at the sports highlights that made 2017 worth cheering for.
KRIZZIAH LYN TABORA
Playing with little expectations, Tabora stunned seasoned bowlers to bag the Bowling World Cup last November in Mexico. The 27-year-old national team mainstay became the fifth Filipino to rule the tournament after the legendary Paeng Nepomuceno, Lita dela Rosa, Bong Coo and CJ Suarez, who last won it for the country in 2003. It was also the eighth World Cup win of the Philippines.
Winning a World 9-Ball title capped Biado’s stellar year. The 34-year-old downed Roland Garcia, 13-5, in an all-Filipino finals this December in Doha to join Filipino greats Efren “Bata” Reyes (1999), Ronnie Alcano (2006) and Francisco “Django” Bustamante (2010) as world champions. Biado also clinched a gold in the same event in the World Games in Poland last July and in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia last August.
Wily and explosive, Ancajas retained his IBF super flyweight title for the third straight time to prove he’s among Philippine boxing’s best. The Panabo, Davao del Norte native stopped Irish Jamie Conlan in the sixth round in Ireland last November to raise his record to 28-1-1 win-loss-draw with 19 knockouts. The 25-year-old Ancajas also scored dominant wins over Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in Macau last January and Japanese Teiru Kinoshita in Australia last July.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES
The Philippines netted 24 golds, 33 silvers and 64 bronzes for a sixth-place finish in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. Despite the dismal medal haul, there were proud moments like Trenten Anthony Beram emerging as a double winner men’s 200-meter and 400-meter sprints) and triathlon completing a sweep with Nikko Huelgas and Kim Mangrobang. Other breakout stars included Aries Toledo in men’s decathlon, John Marvin in boxing and the Philippine ice hockey team.
(To be continued)
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