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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



ASBC junior joust a rousing success

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
09 Aug 2017



PUERTO PRINCESA. The ASBC (Asian Boxing Confederation) Junior Championships ended with a bang at the City Coliseum here yesterday as 142 simonpures from 18 countries bade a sad farewell to their hosts after five days of competition in ABAP’s third successful staging of an Asian-level tournament since 2010.

For a while, widespread participation in the 15-16 age group conclave was doubtful because of logistical issues, coming only a month after Bangkok staged the ASBC Youth Championships with 130 boxers from 21 countries. But ABAP executive director Ed Picson said the Philippines’ reputation of hospitality was difficult to ignore.

“The MVP Cup, a pocket tournament consisting of six countries, was our first hosting test at the PICC in 2010,” said Picson. “Then, in 2013, we held the ASBC Youth Championships in Subic and introduced a lot of fun activities like raffles, parlor games and dancing to music from a live band which were never done before. Our ABAP president Mr. (Ricky) Vargas is now an ASBC executive committee member so when he invited countries to participate, they were excited to come over. The original plan was for Davao to host but we later shifted the venue to Puerto Princesa.”

Vargas flew in from Manila last Sunday and witnessed the finals yesterday with Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez and ABAP vice president Patrick Gregorio. They made sure the red carpet was laid out for the 70 visiting officials, including ASBC executive director Bagdaulet Turekhanov of Kazakhstan and tournament supervisor Mohamed Kamel Shbib of Saudi Arabia.

The budget for the event was P10 Million of which P3.3 Million was contributed by the PSC and the rest by the MVP Sports Foundation and the MVP Group. There were 15 referees/judges (RJs) assigned to the tournament with Jonathan Jimenez, a high school principal in Albay, the only Filipino. “We were about 30 in the local organizing committee and only six came from Manila, the rest from Puerto Princesa,” said Picson. “We also provided livestreaming of the semifinals and finals with Sev Sarmenta and Dennis Principe as commentators so the action was accessible world-wide via the internet.” Competition manager Karina Picson, an AIBA-licensed tournament supervisor who has passed tests to work in APB (AIBA Pro Boxing), WSB (World Series of Boxing) and AOB (AIBA Open Boxing) events, was credited for the smooth conduct of the fights each of which was scheduled for three two-minute rounds.

“We found out Bangkok’s budget to host the recent ASBC Youth Championships was the equivalent of about P19 Million so almost double ours,” said Picson. “In 2013, our budget for Subic was almost the same as our budget for Palawan. Somehow, we made things fit.” Picson said the Philippines would’ve entered seven competitors but three failed to get passports, the standard basis to determine age eligibility in AIBA tournaments. Two of the absentees were from Cagayan de Oro and one was from Cebu. Picson said they could’ve gone far in their weight classes.

“We informed their coaches three months ago to prepare the passports,” said Picson. “Four were able to get passports but three didn’t. The coaches of the three who didn’t make it got a dressing down. They were advised how to proceed in getting the passports but apparently, were negligent.” Left to carry the flag for the country were pinweight Kenneth de la Pena, lightflyweight Criz Russo Laurente, flyweight John Vincent Pangga and lightweight Norlan Petecio.

Vargas said since the country has now hosted ASBC Junior and Youth Championships, the next goal is to stage the ASBC Men’s Championships, possibly in 2019. This year, the men’s elite tournament was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with 179 fighters from 28 countries in 10 weight categories. The Filipino medalists were lightflyweight Rogen Ladon and flyweight Daniel Maamo whose bronze finishes earned tickets to the World Championships in Hamburg on Aug. 25-Sept. 3.

Photo: The ASBC officials in Palawan.


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