GENSAN STAGES PLDT-ABAP MINDANAO LEG
By Maloney L. Samaco
Thu, 22 Nov 2012
The 2012 PLDT-ABAP Championships Mindanao Leg was held on November 13-18 with 109 boxers from 19 LGU’s and clubs all over Mindanao competed at the Lagao Gym in General Santos City.
“This place is a nest for excellent boxers. And we were right in bringing this tournament here. We saw a lot of potential,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson as quoted by Abac Cordero of the Philippine Star.
Boxing is the favorite sport of General Santos City and it has produced world champions like Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire Jr., Marvin Sonsona and Rolando Navarette.
“We are happy and honored to hold the Mindanao tournament in GenSan. The local government headed by Mayor Darlene has shown great enthusiasm and proficient organizational savvy that’s sure to contribute to an exciting and productive tournament,” ABAP President Ricky Vargas said praising the leadership of Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio. “Everyone is upbeat when the boxing tournament is in GenSan.”
Under the Vargas presidency of the ABAP, Mindanao has produced top-notch amateur boxers, like world junior champion Eumir Marcial of Zamboanga, Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga of Davao del Norte and Taipei City International Championship gold medalist Mario Fernandez of Bukidnon. Jade Bornea of GenSan will vie for the gold in the World Youth Championships in Yerevan, Armenia.
In the Mindanao leg finals, a total of 13 gold medals were contested and Davao del Norte won six of them. Bicycle Gabriel won the gold in the youth pinweight division, Michael Jhon Bahena in the junior boys’ light flyweight class, Mark Andy Austria (junior boys’ light bantamweight), Nelia Uba (junior girls’ flyweight), Philip Jay Verador (youth boys’ flyweight) and Marvilo Aballe (youth boys’ lightweight).
Misamis Oriental finished second with three gold medals courtesy of Daniel Maamo (junior boys’ light flyweight), Samboy Lao (youth boys’ light flyweight), and Beverly Casero (youth girls’ flyweight).
GenSan A got two gold medals through junior boys’ bantamweight Angelou Plania and Alexcel Dargantes (junior girls’ pinweight) while GenSan B snatched one gold through Reymark Ibones (junior boys’ pinweight). Camiguin’s Jeson Umbal took the youth boys’ bantamweight gold.
Among those who impressed national team coaches Pat Gaspi and Boy Velasco were Austria, Gabriel, Lao and Aballe, all gold medal winners, who have the potential to become national team members.
The second cousin of Congressman Pacquiao, the 15-year-old Jonel Dapidran of Sarangani, lost to Davao del Norte’s Marvilo Aballe in the youth boys’ lightweight semifinals but drew much of the interest from the fans. He was exciting in the opening bout but lost in the semis due to a swollen left eye. Picson still decided to invite Dapidran to the national team because he has the potential to shine at his tender age given the right training and guidance.
Assisting Picson in the conduct of the tourney were three-star international referee Dante de Castro, and international technical officials Jesus San Esteban and Karina Picson.
The Luzon leg will be held in February with all gold medalists advancing to the national finals in Maasin City, Southern Leyte in February next year.
Above photo: File photo of Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio and Congressman Manny Pacquiao.
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