JAKARTA—Cut and bloodied, Rogen Ladon’s fight with a foe from Uzbekistan didn’t end the way the Philippines wanted it to on Saturday, and the pug who carried the last gold medal hopes for the country settled for a silver medal—likely the last for the Filipinos in this Asian Games campaign.
Jasurbek Latipov went mano-a-mano with the 24-year-old Filipino, but a head-butt gave Ladon a ghastly cut above the right eye that forced the referee to stop the contest with 22 seconds left in the second round as the Filipino flyweight’s journey here ended just a tad short of glory. Boxing ended up without a gold medal, earning two bronzes earlier.
There was some confusion during the official announcement of the result, with the announcer saying that the Uzbek won via RSC before the official score was flashed, which was 3-1 in favor of Latipov.
“It’s a major disappointment because it wasn’t only me but the entire country which wanted a gold medal,” a dejected Ladon said in Filipino.
The Philippines had three highly-touted fighters in the semifinals after Friday night, raising the hopes of a last-gasp gold avalanche. But only Ladon survived the semifinals and thus won the country’s second silver to go along with four gold medals and 15 bronzes.
Boxing’s bronzes were courtesy of Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, who took a questionable 2-3 loss in the semifinals.
Allegations of cheating again surfaced with the fate suffered by the last three Filipino pugs, though Philippine Olympic Committee president and local boxing chief Ricky Vargas admitted that “there’s nothing much we can do.”
“In the Aiba, there are no protests, the best we can do is take it to a congress,” Vargas said. “There are several federations (countries) who felt they were robbed as well [when facing Uzbekistan fighters].”
That Philippine count is good for 19th place at press time as Indonesia will finish as the best Southeast Asian country in the 45-nation field with a haul of 31-24-43 in fourth spot going into the final day of competition Sunday. The curtains fall on this region’s version of the Olympics at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. in Manila).
The women’s volleyball team finished eighth in its first Games stint in 36 years after losing to Indonesia for the second time in two weeks, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20, at Gor Bulungan Gym.
“We came here with a modest goal of making the quarterfinals, so it’s mission accomplished for us,” coach Shaq delos Santos said after the Filipinos wound up with a 1-7 record in the event where 11 nations took part in.
The Filipinos’ only win came over Hong Kong in the preliminaries. Team PH, which also lost to Indonesia in the classification round, didn’t win a set over China, Japan and Thailand.
Triathlon also failed to contribute a medal but John Chicano and Nikko Huelgas churned out respectable performances and finished 10th and 16th, respectively, in the men’s race won by Japan’s Junpei Furuya, who timed one hour, 49 minutes and 33 seconds.
Chicano clocked 1:54:33, while Huelgas timed 1:58:39.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.