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News  


MVP wishes Barriga success in opening bout


PhilBoxing.com


MANILA (PNA)-- Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines chair Manny V. Pangilinan won’t be watching protégé Mark Anthony Barriga open his campaign Monday (Tuesday in Manila) in the Games of the 30th Olympiad but he sent his message of concern and wishes that the 19-year-old light-flyweight succeed in his quest for the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the quadrennial conclave which opened shop last Saturday in London .

Barriga, a native of Panabo City in Davao del Norte, battles Italian fellow Olympic first timer Manuel Cappcai, hoping to key-off his campaign with a victory and advance to the next round.


The son of a machine operator in his hometown, along with Fil-Am BMX rider Daniel Caluag, is the brightest hope in the 11-athlete contingent to break the country 16-year medal drought in the Games known as the ‘Greatest Show On Earth.’

“Mark,nasa dasal kasama ka lagi sa aming dasal dito sa ABAP at sa bawa’t Pilipino na sana ay magtagumpay ka sa misyong iniatang sa iyong balikat,” Pangilinan, MVP to the business and sports circles, who is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas, said in an inspirational text message to Barriga sent tothis reporter.

“Focus lang tayo. One fight at a time at mangarap tayon ng gintong medalya,” the media and telecommunications mogul said. “Kaya mo yan.”

His hectic business schedule that includes two to three meetings a day the past week and this week, Pangilinan said, prevented him from flying to the Olympics site although he promised that should Barriga wins his initial bout, he will go to join him and the national delegation in London.

“Sangkatutak ang mga miting ko dito na hindi ko maiwan,” Pangilinan told this reporter. “But I will try my best to squeeze through the schedule. Siguro sa second fight nya, nandoon na ako sa London.”

“Through prayers, para na rin akong nandoon. I am very confident naman na malalampasan niya ang mga laban nya. He’s prepared hard to qualify and being there in the Olympic already, he will try his best na matupad kung ano ang inaasahan natin sa kanya,” he said.

Besides his recent victorious march to victory the past two years capped by his title triumphs in the Sydney Jackson Memorial held in Uzbekistan that cemented his earning his ticket to London, history looks on the side of the bantam-sized Filipino fighter.

The last four of the Philippines’ total nine-medal haul in the once every-four-year gathering of the world’s finest athletes, came in boxing. This includes a silver medal, the country’s first, courtesy of Anthony Villanueva in 1964 in Rome. A bronze each by Leopoldo Serrantes in Seoul 1988 and Roel Velasco in Barcelona 1992 and another silver by the latter’s younger brother Mansueto “Onyok” in 1996 in Atlanta.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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