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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

RP WOMEN'S BOXING TEAM READY FOR 3RD ASIAN INDOOR GAMES

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
28 Oct 2009

World championship veterans Mitchel Martinez, Annie Albania, Alice Kate Aparri and Josie Gabuco head the Philippine women’s boxing team in its quest for honors in the coming Third Asian Indoor Games set to start Sunday in Vietnam.

Martinez is to be remembered as the first Filipina to have won a gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championship, a feat she fashioned out eight years ago in Bangkok, while Albania as the lone Filipino gold medalist in the 24th Southeast Asian Games two years ago, also in Thailand.

Martinez, now 32 from Bago City, Negros Occidental and a former member of the national training pool in athletics as a shot put ace who turned into the sport of sweet science, is also a bronze medalist in the 2006 World Women’s championships in India, while Albania, 26 from Banga, South Cotabato, is a silver medal winner in the following edition of the world tilt two years ago in China.

Like Martinez, a lightweight, Albania, who fights as a flyweight in winning the gold medal in the 2006 international tournament in Vietnam and 2005 Manila SEA Games, abandoned her track and field career where she was javelin thrower, to concentrate on boxing.

Gabuco, 22 from Puerto Princesa City, on the other hand, brought home another bronze in the 2008 world tourney in the only international experience she had gone.

The other world championship veteran is light-fly Aparri from Naguilian in La Union, another bronze medal winner in India three years ago.

The other member of the team, coached by Boy Catolico and Barcelona Olympic Games bronze medalist Roel Velasco, is Davao City native Nesthy Petecio, a bantamweight, whose only international experience was her stint in the Guam-RP dual meet early this year.

No less than Freddie Roach, chief trainer of Filipino world junior-welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who had seen the girls fought during the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines box-off held in Baguio early this month, had predicted that the team can go along way if given the proper international exposure.

Roach was impressed with the girls whom he described as possessing the style, gallantry and techniques to become world beaters, even predicting that the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal might come from women’s boxing.

The Hall of Famer and three-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ awardee, singled out Albania as to possess what it takes to win medals in the Olympics.

“I’m surprised that you have girl boxers here. And they’re even better than their boy counterparts,” Roach said during last Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Pasdre Faura where members of the team were also guests.

The team, headed by ABAP secretary general Patrick Gregorio leaves today for Vietnam for the AIG.


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