Free ride for three boxers
By Joaquin Henson
Tue, 09 May 2023
Because of limited participation, three Philippine boxers are assured of a bronze medal even if they don’t win a single fight and it will take only two wins for welterweight 67kg Norlan Petecio, lightheavyweight 80kg John Marvin and heavyweight 92kg Markus Tongco to strike gold in the ongoing Cambodia SEA Games.
In Petecio’s division, there are only six entries. Petecio drew a bye in the quarterfinals and got a free ride to the semifinals where he faces Singapore’s Jun Jie Velvan Tan on Wednesday. If Petecio beats Jun Jie, he’ll go for gold on Sunday. Petecio’s sister Nesthy, a Tokyo Olympic silver medalist, makes her Cambodia debut against Laos’ Minavanh Cupaxa in the women’s featherweight 57kg class today. A win by Nesthy brings her to the semifinals against Cambodia’s Vy Sheysros on Wednesday. Five fighters are in Nesthy’s division with Sheysros, Indonesia’s Ratna Sari Devi and Myanmar’s Shu Myat Noe drawing byes for an automatic ticket to the semifinals.
Marvin, who claimed a gold in the lightheavyweight 81kg division at the 2017 SEA Games, is out for redemption after failing to land a podium finish in 2019. He battles hometowner Nasredinov Anvar in the semifinals on Wednesday. If Marvin prevails, he shoots for gold against the winner of the other semifinal match between Singapore’s Muhammad Danish Bin Husli and Thailand’s Weerapon Jongjoho on Sunday.
Tongco is in the same situation as Marvin with only four entries in his division. The 6-5 former basketball player from La Salle Zobel and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan makes his first-ever SEA Games appearance against Vietnam’s Manh Cuong Nguyen on Thursday. If Tongco wins, he advances to the final against the winner of the other semifinal tussle between Thailand’s Kitipat Prueksena and Cambodia’s Rajapov Abdula on Sunday.
Aside from Nesthy, three other Philippine boxers see action in the quarterfinals today. Minimumweight 48kg bet Mark Lester Durens faces Indonesia’s Dio Koebanu, bantamweight 54kg contender Carlo Paalam takes on Malaysia’s Daeloniel McDelon Bong and lightweight 60kg hopeful Paul Bascon meets Vietnam’s Thanh Dat Vu. The losers of the four quarterfinal bouts are struck out of contention for a medal so it’s make or break for Nesthy, Durens, Paalam and Bascon. In last Saturday’s matches, Paalam and Bascon won convincingly to join women’s flyweight 54kg entry Irish Magno among the early winners. Magno will engage Indonesia’s Novita Sinadia in the semifinals tomorrow. At the SEA Games last year, Magno beat Sinadia on points, 5-0, in the semifinals on the way to settling for the silver in losing a 3-2 verdict to Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam in the final of the flyweight 51kg division.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.
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