Boxers come through
JAKARTA—Team Philippines can still have the slam-bang finish it wants in the 18th Asian Games, thanks to a boxer who shrugged off a bad start en route to a convincing semifinal victory.
Rogen Ladon dominated Tongdee Yuttapong of Thailand, scoring a 5-0 win in the men’s flyweight division on Friday afternoon to earn a crack at the country’s fifth gold medal and make up for the exit of two other Filipinos at Jakarta International Expo here.
Light flyweight Carlo Paalam bid the tournament goodbye after a 2-3 loss to Amit of India, and middleweight Eumir Marcial fell to Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov via the same score to settle for bronze medals.
“I just followed my coach’s instructions, and that is to use the straights to my advantage,” said Ladon, an Olympian in Rio de Janeiro two years ago, after securing the country’s second silver. He suffered a cut on the nose bridge after an accidental head butt in the second round.
He goes for the gold medal—and the country’s first in the sport since 2010 in Guangzhou—against Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov at 3:15 p.m. (PH time) on Saturday.
Latipov had a more difficult time disposing of his enemy from Kyrgyzstan, Azat Uzinaliev, who hung tough before taking a 4-1 defeat.
Team Philippines will continue to improve in the overall medal standings because of Ladon’s sure silver, taking a four-gold, one-silver, 15-bronze tally into the final two days before the curtains fall on the Games participated in by 45 countries.
“It will be an all-out war with Latipov,” Ronald Chavez, Ladon’s coach, said. “They are both southpaws.”
The men’s basketball team tore Syria to shreds as expected, 109-55, to finish fifth—two rungs better than the previous Games in Incheon.
Jordan Clarkson scored 29 points, Christian Standhardinger had 27 and 15 rebounds and two others tossed in twin digits for the squad, which will come home Sunday and start preparations for the Fiba Asia window matches against Iran and Qatar starting Monday.
The country’s soft tennis bets in the men’s division also barged into the quarterfinals after 2-1 victories over Laos and Pakistan, while the women bowed out after 3-0 losses to China and Chinese Taipei.
The men will take on Chinese Taipei in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Also in Palembang, Hermie Mascariñas and Ojay Fuentes made it to the finals of the 200-meter men’s canoeing doubles event, clocking 41.441 seconds to finish third in their heat behind China and Kazakhstan. The medal round is set at 10 a.m. (PH time) on Saturday.
The women triathletes finished with a lot of fight but short of a medal, with reigning Southeast Asian queen Kim Mangrobang and charming Filipino-American Kim Kilgroe winding up seventh and ninth, respectively, also in Palembang.
Mangrobang faded in the final 2.5 kilometers of the run leg, slowed down by 30-degree Celsius heat, and clocked two-hours, 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Kilgroe timed a minute and 37 seconds slower.
Japanese Yuko Takahashi won in 1:59:29.
Still, it was an improvement from Mangrobang’s ninth-place finish in Incheon.
“Humid conditions affected her because she came from Portugal where the weather is cool,” coach Ani de Leon-Brown said.
The women’s volleyball team bowed to Kazakhstan, 11-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-19, 14-16, and was relegated to the battle for seventh and eighth spots.
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