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THE 16TH ASIAN GAMES 2010

 

 


DAILY COMPETITION SCHEDULE AND RESULT

            MEDAL TALLY

           PHOTO GALLERY


ASIAN GAMES STORIES

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 27 NOVEMBER 2010


PHL CHESS TEAM CLINCHES FOURTH SILVER MEDAL IN ASIAD
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 26 NOVEMBER 2010

REY SALUDAR BAGS THIRD ASIAD GOLD, ALBANIA SETTLES FOR SILVER
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 25 NOVEMBER 2010

SALUDAR AND ALBANIA GUN FOR GOLD
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 24 NOVEMBER 2010

RP TURNS TO BOXING, CHESS FOR GOLD MEDALS
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 23 NOVEMBER 2010

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 23 NOVEMBER 2010


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 22 NOVEMBER 2010


ASIAN BEACH GAMES
ASIAN GAMES PRESS RELEASE ON 21 NOVEMBER 2010

ARIZA TO HELP RP ATHLETES
ASIAN GAMES PRESS RELEASE ON 21 NOVEMBER 2010

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 21 NOVEMBER 2010


CLOSE, BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 20 NOVEMBER 2010

"THE GOING GETS TOUGHER"
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 19 NOVEMBER 2010

ANOTHER GOLDEN DAY FOR RP
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 18 NOVEMBER 2010

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 17 NOVEMBER 2010 (WRAP UP)


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 17 NOVEMBER 2010


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 16 NOVEMBER 2010


BIBOY RIVERA OF BOWLING BAGGED THE FIRST GOLD MEDAL FOR RP
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 15 NOVEMBER 2010 (AS OF 7:00PM)

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 15 NOVEMBER 2010


PHILIPPINE'S FIRST BRONZE MEDAL IN 16th ASIAN GAMES
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 14 NOVEMBER 2010

ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 13 NOVEMBER 2010



ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 27 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—China, after a masterful conquest of the 16th Asian Games, bids goodbye to some 10,000 athletes from 44 other nations, including the Philippines, which are fully convinced that the ante in the regional meet has been raised to a stringent and prohibitive level.

The city of Guangzhou puts out the symbolic flame tonight looking every bit ready for the fancied next hosting job—the summer Olympics—and effectively set a benchmark that will make the continent a major force to reckon with in the 2012 London Olympics.

With a total 198 gold, 119 silver and 98 bronze medals China illustrated the value of training athletes from a tender age and turning them into sports icons via consistent programs and a heavy dose of discipline.

One of the benefactors in what turned out to be an instructional session lasting three weeks is the lean delegation of 188 athletes from the Philippines.

“The lessons are clear and we have to make the necessary and urgent adjustments when we return to our country if we are to remain as a country of note in sports. I believe that any country with an efficient sports program is a stable nation,” said Chef-de-Mission Joey Romasanta, who will lead an even smaller number of RP athletes joining the closing ceremony parade at Hai Xin Sha stadium Saturday night.

RP’s 3-4-9 gold-silver-bronze production here, barely keeping the country at 19th, is a little short of the 4-6-9 collection the last time around in Doha, Qatar but considering that there were 45 fewer athletes this time, the athletes-to-medal ratio still reflects significant improvements.

“That was our goal. We wanted to see improvements with the system adopted for this campaign and I believe we have achieved that considering that we had certain difficulties in the recent past,” Romasanta pointed out.

Marathoner Rolando Buenavista, the last of the Filipino entries in 29 different sports out of the 43 contested finished in the middle of the field, 12th of 22, with 2:45.07, exactly 33.56 minutes behind winner Ji Youngjun of Korea.

That kept athletics winless in seven events including the long jump which Marestella Torres failed to nail with five foul attempts after a pace-setting 6.49m on her initial try. She later claimed injury as culprit for her woeful performance.

Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco, while monitoring the progress of the campaign earlier, said he expects a post-Asiad report from the national sports associations involved in this Asian Games.

“These reports will be used as references when we discuss the state of Philippines sports during a summit scheduled on December 4,” Cojuangco said.

Second overall Korea (76-64-91) through 2014 Asiad Organizing Committee President Dr. Yun Taek Lee vowed to strengthen the region’s brotherhood in Incheon, Korea during a lunch for the Asian Sports Press Union which he took to lunch and treated to a taste of the renowned “Bhudda Jumped Over the Wall” soup as a tribute to the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.

Japan was third overall with 48-74-94 and its vaunted strength in various sports, except for karate, was minimized in the face of China’s general excellence even in disciplines where its name had never figured before.

What was generic in the character of the delegations is the imposing presence of young and unfamiliar faces including Filipino golfer Miguel Luis Tabuena, second youngest Filipino at 16, who took the silver in the individual event of golf.

RP’ youngest athlete is 14-year-old Pauline LouiseLopez of taekwondo while most senior perhaps is judo’s 46-year-old John Baylon.

Best Southeast Asian finisher was tenth placerThailand (11-9-32) ahead of Malaysia (9-18-14), while Indonesia was 15th (4-9-13) and Singapore 16th (4-7-6). The Filipinos meet up with them anew in the Southeast Asian Games of 2011 in Indonesia.

The new breed of athletes made the 16th Asian Games more colourful and the raised performance standards to greater heights.


PHL CHESS TEAM CLINCHES FOURTH SILVER MEDAL IN ASIAD
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 26 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Tough luck continued to hound RP on the penultimate day of the 16th Asian Games as a medical emergency forced grandmaster Joey Antonio to take the first flight out Friday and miss the finals of chess team play against host China.

Severe pain and discomfort due to inflammation of the mastoids or mastoiditis cut short Antonio’s win streak on board two which John Paul Gomez of board three had to assume and give way for Darwin Laylo while GM Wesley So remained at board one and GM Eugene Torre at board four.

In the end, China outclassed the Filipinos, 3.5-.5 with So salvaging a draw in the finale between the top-ranked team and the number 6 seed of the tournament.

Both the medical team of RP and doctors of the Games’ polyclinic, all recommended an immediate outpatient surgery for Antonio who was clearly disturbed Thursday night when he sought the permission of delegation officials to rush home and seek appropriate medical attention.

“Talagang hindi ko na kaya. Hindi na ko makapag-isip ng maayos dahil sa sakit,” said Antonio who was still up at midnight to seek the assistance of team physician Alejandro Pineda.

Given a sizeable dose of pain killers, Antonio still felt so uncomfortable and squirming in pain when he left for the airport. The silver from chess is the fourth of RP which also nailed three gold and nine bronze medals, placing the country at 18th overall among 36 medal winning nations. The Olympic Council of Asia which runs the Asiad has 45 member nations.

Looking closer, RP also ranked fifth best among Southeast Asian nations that participated led by Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, a reconfirmation of its standing in the smaller league of the Southeast Asian Games last held in Laos in 2009.

Its gold medals came from bowler Engelberto Rivera, 9-ball king Dennis Orcollo, and boxer Rey Saludar. Those who delivered the other silver medals are Miguel Luis Tabuena in individual golf, Annie Albania of women’s boxing and Orcollo’s bunk mate and final victim, Warren Kiamco.

Bronze medallists are the dancing pair of Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras (2), taekwondo jins Thsomlee Go, John Paul Lizardo, Kirstie Elaine Alora and Paul Romero, wushu’s Mark Eddiva, boxer Victorio Saludar and bowler Frederick Ong in singles.

Scoring only seven points in the final quarter against Qatar’s 21, the Philippine basketball team lost, 71-81, landing fifth among 15 teams, a performance which basketball-crazy Filipinos would rather forget being the worse in two decades.

China and Korea dispute the championship of basketball Friday night.

Diver Sheila Mae Perez on Friday was in fine shape for a bronze finish in the 3m springboard but a spectacular 2 1/2 somersault and pike final attempt by Macao’s Sut Ian Choi pushed her out of the medal picture with a 272.40. China’s He Zi, and Shi Tngmao finished 1-2 with 366.90 and 366.90 while Choi had 286.5.

In rhythmic gymnastics, day two was no different for United States-based Maria Victoria Alicia Recinto who had 85.750, good for 16th among 18. The event was won by Kazakhstan’s Anna Alyabyeva with an imposing 111.450.

For a second time in a row, the RP sepak takraw team was humbled, today by Myanmar, 0-2.

With only one more attempt left out of a total six Friday night, RP’s Danilo Fresnido was a town off the pace, 10th of 14, with 70.35 against Japan’s Yukifumi Murakami who had a best throw of 83.15.

The Games come to a close Saturday returning to where it all started—Haixinsha stadium by the Pearl River-- with a simple closing ceremony to be attended by a handful of the original 188 Filipino athletes left in the athletes’ village.


REY SALUDAR BAGS THIRD ASIAD GOLD, ALBANIA SETTLES FOR SILVER
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 25 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Boxer Rey Saludar comforted national pride in a stunning 13-11 win over local boy Chang Yong in the 52 kgs division for RP’s third gold medal in the Asian Games Wednesday night.

Equally valiant but less fortunate, Annie Albania (48-51 kgs) lost to China’s Ren Cancan, 5-7, in a bout where scoring left a lot to be desired.

Saludar, who outshone Bill Vicera in the evaluation of the boxing association prompting his last minute inclusion, overwhelmed the Chinese fighter and stuck to his game plan even in the shaky moments of the first round when his opponent led 2-1.

By the second, Saludar was all over the Chinese and assembled a commanding 9-3 lead that largely negated a third round rally of the silver medallist, who was thrown completely out of the ring in the heat of a skirmish.

Albania, who entered as prohibitive favourite, hit the Chinese with clear punches in the initial and second round but scores were not reflected and allowed her rival to coast after posting an early 2-4 lead.

The day’s output kept RP at 17th with as many gold medals as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistanand Bahrain. RP also has three silver and nine bronze medals.

“This is a great day for the delegation. This approximates our goal and I am very proud of our athletes,” said Chef de Mission Joey Romasanta.

The win also made Saludar a multi-millionaire with the government incentives awaiting him and the promised cash bonanza by the association’s benefactor, business tycoon Manny Pangilinan.

Boxing thus contributed a 1-1-1 medal tally to the lean contingent of 188 athletes, the bronze coming from Saludar’s brother, Victorio.

Also a big source of jubilation is the Philippines’ repeat 2.5-1.5 triumph over India in the semi-final of chess assuring the Filipinos of a silver medal as they seek revenge against China, ranked third in the world, in the final Thursday.

Scoring the resounding victory for the Filipinos are old hands Joey Antonio and Eugene Torre while Wesley So lost and John Paul Gomez had a draw.

The basketball team also won over DPR Korea, 96-69, and takes on preliminaries victim Qatar for a fifth place finish. In sepak takraw Filipinos lost in a group A match to Korea while in wrestlng Maribel Jambora was completely dominated by Cambodian Sotheara Chov in the 48 kgs class, 0-3.

Diver Nino Carog tallied a measly 355.10 to land 10th of 17th behind the 468.50 of gold medal winner Chong He of China, while Rosie Villarito hurled the javelin 48.87m far, which was second from last in the final standing after Japanese Yuki Ebihara posted a 61.56m for gold.

Athletics is 0 out of five after Marestella Torres, the best medal hope, wound up fourth and Henry Dagmil sixth in long jump, while Rene Herrera ended up eighth of 11 in men’s 3,000 steeplechase and hammer thrower Danilo Fresnido who did not figure in the medal race.

Perhaps the most frustrating outcome of the day for RP was Marna Pabillore’s run in karate where she won two matches, lost one and finally moved out of the medal round after losing by the slimmest of margins, 0-1 to Fatemeh Chalaki of Iran in the repechage of the 55 kgs class.

Her teammate, Rolando Lagman did not advance, bowing to Sufian Malayeen of Jordan in, 0-3.

In rhythmic gymnastics Kazakhstan’s Anna Alyabyera ruled with 85.250 an event which saw RP’s girl from the United States, Maria Victoria Alicia Recinto scored a measly 62.250 and placed 20th out of 30 competitors.


SALUDAR AND ALBANIA GUN FOR GOLD
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 24 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Sturdy Rey Saludar and peppery Annie Albania sprayed a fistful of optimism on RP’s diary of regrettable episodes Wednesday afternoon when they advanced to the grand finale of their weight class in boxing going into the last three days of the 16th Asian Games here.

Executing combinations quicker and in accurate fashion, Saludar dominated the fight throughout for a 13-4 verdict in the 52 kgs division against Katsuaki Susa of Japan and needs to clear the last hurdle, Yoing Chang of the host country to capture the Philippines’ third gold medal.

Albania (48-51 kgs.) was even more devastating against Japanese piling up points in three rounds with crisp and pinpoint hits for a one-sided 16-1 decision that arranged a gold medal match with Cancan Ren of China and a possible place in Asiad history as one of the first gold medallists of women’s boxing in the Asian Games.

Unable to cash in earlier on four gold medal hopes in taekwondo and long jump star Marestella Torres that added to a long list of bets stranded in the quarterfinal round of various sports RP badly needs gold medal to rise from its current standing of 19th (2-2-8) among 35 countries with medals.

China is a mile away from its nearest pursuer Korea with 171 gold medals against the Koreans’ 70, a performance that overwhelmed all 44 other member nations of the Olympic Council of Asia and might have boosted the City’s chances of hosting a summer Olympics edition in the future, following the footsteps of Beijing.

RP’s boulevard of broken dreams was extended as archers Delfin Adriano lost 2-4 to Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa and Mark Javier yielded to Chia Chun Sung of Taipei, 0-4 in the recurve eliminations.

The RP basketball team, on the other hand, can only hope for a finish of fifth best after losing to Korea, 66-74 in the quarterfinal round.

Wrestler Jimmy Angana found Turmenistan’s Seyitnur Atayev too hot to handle, 1-3, in the 66 kgs group and karate’s Mae Soriano edged Macao’s Man I Kou, 3-2 before bowing to Korea’s So Young Jang, 2-4 in the quarters. Also in karate, Noel Espinosa downed Hong Neng Wong of Macao, 4-1 in the repechage but did not get bronze on account of a 0-5 loss to Kuwaiti Yousef Jhas Alharbi.

Good news came in Tuesday night when the RP chess team blasted Uzbekistan, 3.5-1.5 on wins coming from board two mainstay Joey Antonio, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre and a draw from top board man Wesley So which pushed them to a semi-final round seat.

With Antonio suffering from a severe case of sinusitis, Gomez was elevated to play his board and Darwin Laylo will take over board three when they play Kyrgystan in the seventh round of eliminations.

Olympian Sheila May Perez tallied 232.35, good only for 8th position among 13 in the women’s 1m springboard of diving which China’s Wu Minxia ruled with 326.15.

Overnight runner up and singles champion Engelberto Rivera fumbled in block 2 of the masters of bowling assembling a 3546 that placed him seventh overall and did not make the stepladder finals while Mariane Posadas (3390) was in exactly the same position in the distaff side and Liza del Rosario (3267) was 14th.

Korea’s Deokhyeon Kim made a double victory for Korea in long jump with an amazing 8.11m in an event where Henry Dagmil had a 7.52m that was good for sixth among 11.

Also in diving, Nino Carog scored a 264. 00 to wind up second from last in the 1m springboard won by China’s Min He (481.20). Another Filipino entry Zardo Domenios mysteriously vanished from the final results of but his name appeared in the official start list.


RP TURNS TO BOXING, CHESS FOR GOLD MEDALS
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 23 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Five successive false attempts negated Marestella Torres’ first big leap pushing her out of the medal picture and crushed the Philippines’ hopes to improve its medal collection Tuesday in the 16th Asian Games.

Slightly favoured here after topping the event in the most recent and elite Asian Athletics Association championships, Torres paced all 14 entries with an initial leap of 6.49m but squandered her chances in subsequent leaps, unable to make the necessary adjustments.

In the end, Korean Jung Soonok recorded a 6.53, Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova a 6.50 and Yuliya Tarasova equalled Torres’ 6.49 with a -0.7 credit against the Filipina’s +1.1 to finish gold-silver-bronze medallists.

Dropping one rank lower at 17thth in the medal race that China has already won this early, RP was stalled with two gold as many silver and eight bronze medals as the chess team campaigns for a win tonight for a semi-final berth.

Hopes of improving its position now shift to three semi-finalists in boxing—Annie Albania, Rey Saludar and Victorio Saludar. It could have been four but Wilfredo Lopez dropped his quarterfinal round bout against Jargal Otgonjargal of Mongolia, 1-7, late Monday evening.

All three will fight on Wednesday with Albania taking Aya Shinmoto of Japan, Rey facing Katsuaki Susa also of Japan and Victorio trading punches with Brizhan Zhakpov of Kazakhstan.

To start of the day for RP, rider Marites Bitbit (2:47:48.83) finished 13th among 26 in the individual road race, nearly two seconds off the pace of winner Hsiao Mei Yu (2:47:46.12) of Taipei and sixth in the roster of Southeast Asian entries.

Wrestler Jerry Angana, unaware of the high quality of competition, was relegated to the repechage of the 55 kgs category after losing badly to Kyong Il Yang of Korea, 0-4.

In an Olympic sport that only a handful of Filipinos practice—canoe/kayak—Alex Generalo, a neophyte in international games, was fourth among five (4:01.967) and so was Dany Funelas (4:28.672) in the two semi-final heats where six others had already advanced to the final Monday afternoon.

Not as lucky in the 200m semis, Generalo was 7th of nine and Funelas was sixth of six.

The RP Blu-Girls valiantly fought for a semis slot but lost it by a hairline, 3-4, to Korea and will wind up fifth of six teams, their lone win coming against Thailand.

Last Monday night the basketball team from group B chipped in with an 82-73 win over Taipei that formalized its entry to the quarterfinal round Wednesday against Korea, the second best qualifier from group A headed by NBA stars flavoured China.

Also eager to contribute, Wesley So, Joey Antonio, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre just conquered highly-rated India, 2.5-1.5 Monday night breaking a long losing streak that dates back to the 1988 Olympiad.

In the penultimate round six, the foursome wants to hit Uzbekistan on the jugular to ensure their lofty standing and proceed to medal play.

“We need this win badly and based on our recent performance, there is a strong chance for a medal finish,” said chess official Willy Abalos.

The delegation was alarmed as Rexel Ryan Fabrega, partner of Jaime Asok in synchronized diving, figured in a vehicular accident with his coach on the way to the competition venue Monday afternoon. The athletes’ bus carrying Fabriga and his coach apparently collided with a car and the Filipinos decided to proceed to the venue instead of seeking immediate medical care.

Based on the medical bulletin issued by team physician Dr. Alejandro Pineda on Tuesday, Fabriga sustained a soft tissue injury on the right shoulder and failed to finish his third dive and underwent magnetic resonance imaging tests and x-rays of the cervical spines in the Games’ Village polyclinic.

Left to carry the cudgels for the team Nino Carog and Zardo Domenios, ended up fifth of eight with 341.34 points in the 3m springboard synchronized event that was won by China, (459.60).


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 23 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Save for the afternoon appearance of long jump queen Marestella Torres and the rock steady chess squad, the Philippines is not expecting great news in other disciplines Tuesday in the 16th Asian Games.

Running 16th in the medal race that China has already won this early, RP will focus its eyes on Torres, who is in handsome position to capture the country’s third gold medal and the progress of the chess campaign that is one win away from a semi-final berth.

The Filipinos also have three semi-finalists in boxing—Annie Albania, Rey Saludar and Victorio Saludar. It could have been four but Wilfredo Lopez dropped his quarterfinal round bout against Jargal Otgonjargal of Mongolia, 1-7, late Monday evening.

All three will fight on Wednesday with Albania taking Aya Shinmoto of Japan, Rey facing Katsuaki Susa also of Japan and Victorio trading punches with Brizhan Zhakpov of Kazakhstan.

At the track, Rene Herrera makes a bid in the 3,000m steeplechase.

To start of the day for RP, rider Marites Bitbit (2:47:48.83) finished 13th among 26 in the individual road race, nearly two seconds off the pace of winner Hsiao Mei Yu (2:47:46.12) of Taipei and sixth in the roster of Southeast Asian entries.

Wrestler Jerry Angana, unaware of the high quality of competition, was relegated to the repechage of the 55 kgs category after losing badly to Kyong Il Yang of Korea, 0-4.

In an Olympic sport that only a handful of Filipinos practice—canoe/kayak—Alex Generalao, a neophyte in international games, was fourth among five (4:01.967) and so was Dany Funelas (4:28.672) in the two semi-final heats where six others had already advanced to the final Monday afternoon.

The two try their fortunes in the 200m semi-final heats later Tuesday afternoon.

Last Monday night the basketball team from group B chipped in with an 82-73 win over Taipei that formalized its entry to the quarterfinal round Wednesday against Korea, the second best qualifier from group A headed by NBA stars flavoured China.

Also eager to contribute, Wesley So, Joey Antonio, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre just conquered highly-rated India, 2.5-1.5 Monday night breaking a long losing streak that dates back to the 1988 Olympiad.

In the penultimate round six, the foursome wants to hit Uzbekistan on the jugular to ensure their lofty standing and proceed to medal play.

“We need this win badly and based on our recent performance, there is a strong chance for a medal finish,” said chess official Willy Abalos.

The delegation was alarmed as Rexel Ryan Fabrega, partner of Jaime Asok in synchronized diving, figured in a vehicular accident with his coach on the way to the competition venue Monday afternoon. The athletes’ bus carrying Fabriga and his coach apparently collided with a car and the Filipinos decided to proceed to the venue instead of seeking immediate medical care.

Based on the medical bulletin issued by team physician Dr. Alejandro Pineda on Tuesday, Fabriga sustained a soft tissue injury on the right shoulder and failed to finish his third dive and underwent magnetic resonance imaging tests and x-rays of the cervical spines in the Games’ Village polyclinic.

Left to carry the cudgels for the team are Nino Carog and Zardo Domenios, who will compete today starting at 5 p.m. With a lone win in four games, the RP Blu-Girls face tough Korea in the six-team cast.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 22 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU -- Hardworking Annie Albania took the full measure of Korea’s Kim Song Hye with her busy fists in a 7-2 decision in the 48-51 kgs division and assumed her place in the semi-final round of the debuting women’s boxing event in the 16th Asian Games.

Down 0-2 in the third of four rounds of two minutes, Albania connected with two body shots against her taller opponent to get even at the end of the round and then clustered punches to the head to break away in the fourth.

Albania’s victory, along with pivotal wins in team events Sunday could be the final stretch motivation for others who will figure in six sports late Monday.

With six days to go and an output of two gold, two silver and eight bronze medals that placed RP right in the middle of a list of 32 nations with medals, Albania’s teammates Victorio Saludar (46-49 kgs) and Wilfredo Lopez (69 kgs) enter the ring also as quarterfinalist.

Saludar should be slightly favoured over India’s Amandeep Singh and so is Lopez against Mongolia’s Jargal Otgonjargal. “I sincerely hope that we can get something going in boxing because we did not get the much-needed breaks in taekwondo,” said Chef de Mission Joey Romasanta, his fingers crossed that RP will better a 4-6-9 collection in Qatar four years ago.

Basketball, and chess boosted the delegation with exciting victories.

RP’s men’s basketball squad dumped India, 78-57 and tonight faces Taipei eyeing a victory that will formalize its entry to the quarterfinal.

After two losses to giants China and Taipei the Blu-Girls vented their ire on Thailand, 1-0,Thursday night and bade medal chances farewell Monday afternoon after losing to Japan, 0-4.

John Paul Gomez scored the only win that went with draws from Wesley So, Joey Antonio and Eugene Torre in a 2.5-1.5 edging of highly-rated Kazakhstan that raised the chess team’s chances of making the semi-final as it takes on an even stronger quartet from India tonight.

Bowling and athletics, however, failed to produce for the lean Philippine team which has yet to start campaign in karate. RP’s men team of five managed only 12th among 17 in block 1 that was dominated by Malaysia, Qatar and Japan while the women’s team was 8th of 11 behind winner Korea.

The men’s second team was a shade better, placing 11th of 17 as Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong eventually took gold, silver and bronze medals.

In men’s all events, singles champion Engelberto Rivera was best among Filipinos at 8th spot while singles bronze winner Frederick Ong was 41st, Chester King 57th, Raoul Miranda 53rd, Benshir Layoso 72nd and Collins Jose 87th in the cast of 99.

Unheralded Alex Generalao and Danny Funelas both wound up last in the heats of the 1000m sprints of canoe/kayak, though an Olympic sport is struggling for popularity in the Philippines. In the 200m race, Generalao was 7th of 8 while Funelas was again last among six.

Irish Valenzuela (4:15:08.25), stalled by a stumbling Indonesian rider in the mad dash for home, beat ten other entries in the main lead pack when he placed 24th in the individual road race of cycling.

Compatriot Lloyd Lucien Reynante (4:15:14.09) found himself buried in the middle of the rallying second group and settled for 26th place among 50 starters.

Divers Jaime Asok and Rexel Ryan Fabriga will make their bids in the men’s synchronized 10m platform contest starting at 5 p.m. today.


ASIAN BEACH GAMES
ASIAN GAMES PRESS RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 21, 2010

GUANGZHOU—Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah assured the Philippine Olympic Committee that Filipinos may host the Asian Beach Games on 2013 should they wish to do so, even if it means breaking the two-year cycle of the event.

Sheikh Ahmad gave the guarantee to Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr. in a brief meeting with Philippine delegation officials here.

“The Sheikh was very kind in allowing us to host the Asian Beach Games on 2013 should we feel we are ready by 2013,”

Cojuangco said during a team managers’ meeting of the Philippine delegation participating in the 16th Asian Games.

Originally, the country was looking at the 2014 staging but Phuket, Thailand beat RP to the punch and sealed the deal with OCA as early as this year.

The 2010 Asian Beach Games is set in Muscat, Oman next month from the fourth to the 16th where the Philippines will send a small 30-man delegation to compete in events among them sepak takraw, wakeboarding, handball, triathlon, sailing, windsurfing and marathon swimming.

Chef de Mission of the Philippines is soft tennis federation president Co. Jeff Tamayo, POC officials said they will immediately survey the candidate beach fronts in the country and determine the capability to host the newest addition to Asian sports gatherings.


ARIZA TO HELP RP ATHLETES
ASIAN GAMES PRESS RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 21, 2010

GUANGZHOU—The man behind the superb conditioning of world boxing champion Rep. Manny Pacquiao will be coming to the aid of Filipinos vying for slots in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Around February of 2011, the very popular Alex Ariza is expected in Manila to provide conditioning and nutrition approaches for an elite group of athletes who will train for the summer Olympics, announced Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr.

“He has committed himself to us and we are confident that his contribution to our training regimen will be critical to our performance in the next Olympics,” Cojuangco told team managers of the Philippine delegation here attending the 16th Asian Games.

Cojuangco lauded Pacquiao’s concern for national athletes in persuading the Colombian sports conditioning guru to come to the Philippines and help its national athletes.

“We are very thankful to Rep. Pacquiao. He was largely instrumental in our efforts to convince Mr. Ariza to help us,” Cojuangco said.

By Cojuangco’s calculation, there would be around 50 elite athletes who can initially partake of Ariza’s expertise.

“We will then pass on the program to all national sports associations to ensure that all our athletes are trained well and eat the right food so they can perform to the fullest,” Cojuangco added.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 21 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—RP’s boxing team rose to comfort a frustrated delegation positioning one member two wins shy of a gold medal while two others invade the quarterfinal round in the 16th Asian Games here.

Rey Saludar (52 kgs) barged into the semi-final Saturday night after battering Nepal’s Puran Rai in a referee stopped contest at 1:45 of the first round and prepares against Katsuaki Susa of Japan for their November 24 encounter eyeing to turn an assured bronze into silver or even gold.

His brother Victorio also Saturday night advanced to the round of 8 on the strength of a 12-3 victory over Turkmenistan’s Zarip Jumayev in the 46-49 kgs class and Wilfredo Lopez (69 kgs) accomplished the same with a 12-5 decision over Pakistan’s Arshad Hussain.

Victorio next faces India’s Amandeep Singh while Lopez fights Mongolia’s Jargal Otgonjargal in matches scheduled on Monday evening.

On Sunday afternoon, Annie Albana (48-51 kgs) further increased the boxing team’s grit in pummelling Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakshtan, 9-2 in the debut of women’s boxing in the Asiad

These triumphs somewhat eased a frustrating Saturday for the Filipinos, who qualified three taekwondo jins to medal round play only to end up with as many bronze medals.

Adding more medal hopes, grandmasters Wesley So and Joey Antonio scored victories while John Paul Gomez and Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre had draws in the Philippines’ 3-1 win over Bangladesh in round 3 of team contest. RP, which has two wins and a loss, plays Kazakshtan next on Sunday.

The Philippines is fancied to ensure its entry into the quarterfinal of basketball tonight at 9:30 against winless India even as the Blu-Girls of softball face Southeast Asia neighbour Thailand after two successive losses to China and Chinese Taipei.

RP’s teams of five in men and women’s divisions of bowling are also slated to play on Sunday along with hammer thrower Arniel Ferrera of athletics

“We are doing well but we have not been getting the breaks in some disciplines,” noted Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr. of the country’s performance yet that netted two gold, two silver and eight bronze medals. Filipinos are seeing action in only 29 of the 43 sports contested here.

China, which has more than 140 gold medals, is simply overwhelming and its medal collection is 60 per cent more than its closest pursuer, Korea.

In Sunday’s light schedule of the Philippines, wrestler Margarito Angana was injured late in the fight and lost to Iraqi Mohammad Alsaedi despite a 3-2 lead at the point of stoppage of the 55 kgs match.

In the 12th and last race of the double handed dinghy 470, Emerson Villena and Lester Troy Tayong, finished 5th of seventh as Japan, China and Korea ruled in that order while Reneric Moreno capped his bid at fifth out of ten in RS:X.

The two Filipinos in archery—Mark Javier and developmental athlete Delfin Anthony Adriano—see action anew on Tuesday in the finale of the recurve event.


CLOSE, BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 20 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU —Close, but not close enough.

This summarizes RP’s swing and kick for medals Saturday as 16-year old Miguel Luis Tabuena, second youngest in a batch of 188 athletes, and three jins so fervent to snap a string of near misses by nine other teammates in the past three days, displayed the fighting heart of Filipino athletes.

Tabuena, one month and one week past his 16th birthday, had a birdie and a bogey in a final day 72 and a four-day total of 282, a performance worth silver behind Whee Meen Kim of Korea (69-273), who wrested the Filipino’s two day leadership in the 75-man field on Friday’s third round.

Getting only decent back up from Mhark Fernando (73-298), who landed at 19th in the individual standings, the RP team that also included, Carlos Puyat (79-305) and Jerson Balasabas (80-306) could only place fifth (877) behind Korea (842), India (874), Chinese Taipei (875) andThailand (875).

Their female counterparts could not do better as residents of sixth overall in all four rounds ending up with 601 behind Korea (560), China(571), Taipei (585), and Japan and Thailand (586).

Chichiro Ikeda, even for the day, was the best placed Filipina at 11th with a 296 aggregate while Imelda Piccio (78-309) was 18th and Dottie Ardina (77-311) 20th out of 30 players.

Now, the heart-rending episode that is the taekwondo campaign.

After three days of frustrating results that saw the advance of six fighters to the quarterfinal round and a dismal yield of a lone bronze, Filipino jins will come home with three more, wondering if it were breaks or other countries in the region are just simply more passionate in the practice of the sport.

Pain after a gruelling 4-2 win over Vietnam ’s Hai Thi Nguyen reduced the speed of Kirstie Elaine Alora and clearly favoured Kazakshtan’s Feruza Yergeshova in the semi-final round of the under 73 kgs class that was decided 3-7.

Even more frustrating was Paul Romero’s run that saw him boot out Saudi Arabian Amonalad A Hamed Mahmod (12-2), Tan Jun Wei Jason (13-2) and Mongolia ’s Bilguun Khosbayar in succession within a span of hours only to see a screeching halt against Taipei ’s Yang Chen Wei, (3-0) in the semis.

Also a semi-finalist after masterfully handling Yemen ’s Tameem Al Kubati (6:4) and manhandling Ajaiman Alojaiman of Kuwait (9-4) John Paul Lizardo could not get past Korean Kim Seong, losing 10:7.

“We just could not get the big breaks. Our athletes did everything according to plan,” bewailed coach Rocky Samson. Altogether, RP has two gold, two silver and eight bronze medals, a pittance compared to China ’s 130-60-60, which many officials of 44 other member countries characterize as overkill.

Boxer Victorio Saludar rose as another medal hope after disposing off Zarip Jumayev of Turkmenistan, 12-3 in their round of 16 fight in the 46-49 kgs division. Also on duty in boxing are Rey Saludar against Rai Puran of Nepal and Wilfredo Lopez versus Arshad Hussain of Pakistan later tonight.

Delfin Boholst is the only casualty yet in boxing after a 1-8 loss to Mongolian Tuvshinbat Byamba Friday evening.

The tennis surprise, however, is over after 14th seed Cecil Mamiit lost to 3rd seed Go Soeda of Japan, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 and Treat Conrad Huey surrendered to Tatsuma Ito also of Japan , 4-6,4-6.

In the quarterfinal of the doubles, Huey and Mamiit made the quarterfinal where they bowed to Taipei ’s H.H. Lee and C.H. Yi, 6-7, 4-6.

Bowling also came up dry in the men’s trios where Jose Collins, Benshir Layoso and Raoul Miranda (1870) and Chester King, Frederick Ong and singles gold medallist Engelberto Rivera (1853) were nowhere near top team Korea (2008).

Looking better still after a victory over Qatar two nights ago, RP yielded a 60-58 thriller to Japan in men’s basketball, a loss that did not entirely affect their chances for a quarterfinal seat. RP is now 1-2 in win-loss marks.

RP’s softball Blu-Girls suffered losses to China , 1-7 and Chinese Taipei 2-9 in a field of six while Mark Javier managed only 31st place and Delfin Adriano 50th in a cast of 62 in the 144 arrows qualifying.

In the individual time trial of road cycling, Marites Bitbit occupied ninth among 13 and counterpart Lloyd Lucien Reynante wound up 16th out of 20 starters in the 35.6 km. race.

Chess was also unkind to RP in the second round where the Filipinos lost to China , 1-3 although grandmaster Joey Antonio noted that they can still recover as they had turned back Iran on opening round with the same score.

“Mahaba pa ang laban may chance pa tayo for the medal round,” he said before joining the team that plays lowly Bangladesh Friday.


"THE GOING GETS TOUGHER"
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 19 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Filipinos got stalled when the going got tougher in the seventh day of the 16th Asian Games but delegation officials are more concerned about the negative news that Rep. Mark Zambar brought upon arrival today at the athletes’ village.

Only Thsomlee Go (under 63 kgs) of taekwondo eluded the thorny path with back-to-back wins against Iranian Nederian Reza (9-7) and Tajikistan’s Giyosov Krushav (11-3) before yielding to wilyKorean Lee Dae Hoon in the semi-final and collecting the fifth bronze medal of RP.

RP has also won two gold medals thanks to bowler Engelberto Rivera and Surigao’s pride Dennis Orcollo, who shaded in the 9-ball finale countryman Warren Kiamco, the lone silver medallist of the lean Philippine delegation.

Jeffrey Figueroa also flirted with the medal circle when he edged United Arab Emirates’ Rashed Bilal Khamis, 5-3 in the under 68 kgs class but was credited with more penalties against Tajikistan’s Farkhod Negmatov in 6-6 standoff and failed to advance.

Maria Camille Manalo started on the wrong foot against Dhunyanun Premwhaew of Thailand and lost 2-5 in the under-62 kgs division.

Zambar had more bad news.“There were reports in Manila that our athletes are not fed well here,” Zambar was quoted as relaying to Chef de Mission Joey Romasanta. To present the true picture, Sports Commissioner Chito Loyzaga, Romasanta and Deputy Chef de Mission Mauricio Martelino gave Zambar a tour around the village including the sprawling dining hall where athletes’ partake of a variety of dishes ranging from Middle Eastern, European, Japanese and other cuisines.

In a brief encounter, billiards great Djanggo Bustamante told Zambar, “ayaw na nga po naming na makakita ng pagkain,” to indicate that food was never an issue with village residents. Zambar even had his share of burgers and fries from the McDonald’s outlet inside the mess hall, for free.

Moreover, one of the athletes did not make the weight limit of his event because of failure to control food consumption. “It is unfortunate that they do not check the facts first before making a report. It is also embarrassing to our hosts because I am sure that the China Embassy in Manila heard of this report,” Romasanta lamented. On the battle field, the results were as negative though not as embarrassing.

Gold prospect Miguel Luis Tabuena, turning in a two over 74 in the critical third round, surrendered his two-day leader’s position to Korea’s Whee Meen Kim, who had the day’s second best round of 67.

At 204 entering the final day Saturday, Kim is six up on Tabuena (210), who was just one up on Thailand’s Atthachai Jaichalad, who had the day’s best score of 65.

Korea also paces the team race with 624 while the Philippines and Thailand were in a tie for second and third at 653 going into the last 18 holes.

In women’s play RP’s team remained at 6th overall even as Chichiro Ikeda made a move in the individual standings with a 2 under 70 that catapulted her to 11th.

Maria Imelda Piccio faltered with a 79 that did not count while Dottie Ardina could only contribute a 76. With a three-day aggregate of 306, the Filipinas were 21 strokes off the pace of leader Korea.

As China awaits its formal crowning as breakaway overall titlist in a week’s time, Rivera and trios teammates Chester King, and bronze medallist Frederick Ong rolled 1900 that was good only for ninth in block one which was dominated by Korea’s 2053. The other Filipino threesome—Collins Jose, Benshir Layoso and Raoul Miranda only had 1736.

Two other female trios including Liza Clutario, Liza del Rosario and Marianne Daisy Posadas and Kimberly Mae Lao, Lara Posadas and Krizziah Lyn Tabora will see action later today seeking to add on to the one gold, one bronze medals already in the bag for RP.

Trap shooter Hagen Topacio, third overnight in the individual race, could not find his mark today with a 41 after a 72 and dropped some 15 notches lower while teammates Eric Ang (65-45) and Jethro Dionisio (67-46) did not make significant progress as the squad moved out of the medal picture completely at fifth in an event won by a Lebanon trio. All three Filipinos did not make the top ten of the individual standing.

Strangely, shooting president Arturo Macapagal, in a text message to Romasanta, woed Topacio’s poor day but would not hold Ang and Dionisio, who were 21st and 24th places in the first day, equally accountable for the undesired outcome.

“From what he texted me, it appeared Topacio was the only member of team and his solid performance in day 1 which carried the team to fourth place is worth nothing,” Romasanta said.

In his final race for lightweight single sculls, Benjamin Tolentino (7:16.55) landed seventh overall while fencing’s Walbert Mendoza was third among five after bowing to China’s Wang Jingzhi in individual sabre.

The day was not bereft of positive developments, however, as Cecil Mamiit and Treat Conrad Huey advanced in the second round of tennis singles.

Huey humbled Nepal’s Kumar Adhikari, 6-0, 6-1 while Mamiit fought off Martin Christopher Sayer of Hong Kong, 7-5, 7-5.

The double’s team of Johnny Arcilla and Ruben Gonzales Jr failed to handle the Indian partnership of SK Devvarman and Sanamkrishan Singh, 4-6, 2-6.

On Thursday evening the RP chess squad of Wesley So, Joey Antonio, Darwin Laylo and Eugene Torre tripped Iran 3-1 and meets China in the second round today, while the last Filipino in men’s snooker, Benjamin Guevarra lost 3-4 to Afghan Mohammad Sali Mohammad.

Friday night, the RP basketball squad plays Japan and Delfin Bohlst debuts in boxing, where breothers Rey and Victorio Saludar had already advanced to the second round and the RP Blu-Girls face China in softball.


ANOTHER GOLDEN DAY FOR RP
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 18 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Dennis Orcollo is the main man of Asian 9-ball billiards.

In another golden day and a fancied all-Filipino finale, Orcollo edged compatriot Warren Kiamco for first place making the Philippines look good vis-ŕ-vis declared targets in the 16th Asian Games here.

Gold number two for the lean Filipino delegation, that came after Engelberto Rivera nailed the singles championship of bowling, moved it halfway the number it won in Doha, Qatar four years ago along with six silver and nine bronze medals. “Philippines,” was all Orcollo could yell after his triumph in a discipline that is a long-time passion of Filipinos and a ticket to worldwide recognition.

After six days of competitions, where it hopes to improve the athletes-to-medals ratio with only 188 against the 250 in 2006, RP also has a silver medal courtesy of Kiamco and bronze from the dancing team of Ronnie Stevee Vergara and Charlea Lagaras, bowler Frederick Ong and wushu sansou fighter Mark Eddiva.

Held idle with their early arrival at the athletes’ village, Orcollo whipped Jeong Young Hwa ofKorea, 9-3 while Kiamco booted out Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi in the semi-final Wednesday night.

Orcollo and Kiamco more than made up for the heart-rending loss of Rubilen Amit, who was up 5-3 and 6-5, before a dry break that allowed veteran Qiaoting Pan of China, a professional tour mainstay, to escape 7-6 in their round of 16 encounter in women’s 9-ball.

Left to carry the fight for RP, Iris Ranola could not score against Qiaofang Fu of China in a race to seven quarterfinal and Marlon Manalo hardly contested Hong Kong Marco Chun Ka Fu, 1-4 in snooker singles.

Biggest surprise package Wednesday night was coach, Rajko Toroman who proved that he has the pill to cure RP’s basketball woes overnight.

Following a disappointing loss to Iran the night before, the Philippine basketball team conquered Qatar, 90-68, and by the looks, will easily make the quarterfinal round to be composed of four teams from each of the two groups of six. The other group is led by powerhouse China and Korea.

This time, RP was more fluent and daring, a complete transformation from their tentative and seemingly purposeless game against the Iranians in scoring one of two wins needed to make the next round. The Filipinos simply need a win over ragtag India to make the quarter final phase.

Today is a rest day for the Filipinos, who will play on Friday a youthful Japanese squad, which trailed for 38 minutes before pulling the rug from under Iran, 57-56 Thursday night. The other team in the group isChinese Taipei that toyed with India 93-66.

What further boosted Filipinos was the outstanding first round knock out win of Rey Saludar ((52 kgs) over Bhutan’s Kinley Gyeltshen as he joined Wilfredo Lopez in the next phase of boxing. Later his brother Victorio will also debut in the 46-49 kgs division against Malysia’s Muhamad Faud Mohd.

Junior golfer Miguel Luis Tabuena held Korean Whee Meen Kim in check firing another four under 68 to cling on to his overnight one stroke lead with 136 in the battle for gold individual honours but a confusing second day results only had Korea clearly leading the team standings.

Based on published results, Korea had 390 as pace-setter in team play while RP had 435 and India 405. A closer look, however, indicated that the tallies were incorrect hence it was unclear which country should occupy second place in round two.

Only the scores of Mhark Fernando (75) and Jerson Balasabas (74) counted for the round along with Tabuena’s even as Carlos Puyat improved with a 75 after an opening day 80 in the four-to-play, three-to-count format.

Maria Imelda Isabel Piccio carded 74 today and was highest rank Filipina in the individual category with a 152 total behind Korean Kim Hyun Soo (140) while Chichiro Ikeda (75) was in a tie for 15th at 154 and Dottie Ardina (158) 20th at 158. The team was at sixth spot with 302, 37 strokes behind leader Korea.

It was a so-so day for RP in women’s bowling as two pairs in doubles contest—Kimberly Mae Lao and Krizziah Lyn Tabora and sisters Marianne Daisy Posadas and Lara Posadas—managed only 2469 and 2342 against the pace-setting 2687 of Korean’s Jin A Choi and Eun Gang Hye in batch A. Later another Filipino pair, Liza Clutario and Liza del Rosario will make their bid in batch B.

Trap shooter Hagen Alexander Topacio outdid the more senior Eric Ang and Jethro Dionisio scoring 72 and stood at third behind Libyan Joe Salem (73) in the first of the two-day qualifying stage for the individual title.

Dionisio (67) was at 21st spot and Ang (65) 24th in a field of 37 shooters and the aggregate score with Topacio at 204 had them running fourth in teams standing behind Libya, Kuwait and China.

Jayson Valdez did not have much luck either in 50m rifle three positions, firing 9.308 behind the 9.742 of Korean Jinseop Han and landed 36th of 41 qualifiers.

Swimmer Miguel Molina (2:17.15) salvaged second spot in the third heat of 200m breaststroke behind Naoya Tomita of Japan (2:16.06) and will join the eight-man finale tonight.

It was the same sad story, however for Erica Totten and Jasmine Alkhaldi, who had not qualified in any of the events they entered for the past five days.

Totten timed 2:23.16 (fifth among seven) nearly seven seconds behind China’s Qun Wang in the 200m individual medley, while Alkhaldi was fourth of six (28.93) behind winner Li Tao (26.52) of Singapore in the 50m butterfly.

The foursome of Charles Walker, Molina, Jessie Khing Lacuna and Daniel Coakley (3:52.05) was even worse, winding up seventh among eight qualifiers in a 4X100m medley relay dominated by Japan (3:40.78).

Marlon Avenido (under 80 kgs) went farthest out of three jins that saw action this morning with wins over opponents from Brunei and Saudi Arabia before bowing out in the quarterfinal, 11-12 to Afghan Nesar Ahmad Bahawi.

Jade Zafra (under 53 kgs) clobbered Taiwanese Hsuan Yi Tseng, 12-1 but succumbed to Korean Eun Kyung Kwon, 6-15 after Karla Jane Alava (under 57 kgs) took a 1-7 beating from Sousan Hajipourgoli of Iran.

Three male and two female pairs in soft tennis struggled the whole day, won one match courtesy of Arcilla brothers Joseph and Jhomar , but crashed out of the medal picture.

Rower Roque Abala clocked 6:53.06 and was fourth behind winner Kim Hongkyun (6:47.02) of Korea in the double sculls final race B while developmental athlete Jennyca Aribado in squash lost 0-3 to India’s Joshana Chinappa.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 17 NOVEMBER 2010 (WRAP UP)

GUANGZHOU—Dennis Orcollo and Warren Kiamco thawed the anxiety of nearly a week’s wait for their cue and scintillatingly marched to the semi-final round of 9-ball billiards amid a rough day for the Philippine team in the 16th Asian Games here.

Plunging into heavy action after waiting five days for their event, Orcollo shaded Chen Man Lee of Hong Kong, 9-8 while Kiamco turned back China’s Jinhu Dang also 9-8 to move into medal round Thursday and make up for the ouster of Rubilen Amit and Iris Ranola in the 8-ball round of 16. Amit and Ranola shift their guns to the 9-ball round of 16 tonight against professional women’s tour veteran Xiaoting Pan of China and Thai girl Chonticha Chitchomnart of Thailand..

“Ang tagal naming na nakatingin lang sa mga dingding dito sa athlete’s village, parang mas tensed pa kami habang naghihintay,” lamented Orcollo, who arrived with the team members several days before the start of their event. The medal prospects presented by the advance of Orcollo and Kiamco were relief for the limping RP campaign in various fronts, bowling, swimming, water sports, and taekwondo included.

Singles gold medallist Engelberto “Biboy” Rivera and bronze medallist partner Frederick Ong, each struggled in one of six games (2455 pinfalls) , an opening wide enough for a Singapore duo (2691) to pull away in the doubles event of bowling. The Filipino pair wound up 16th while compatriots Raoul Miranda and Chester King (2431) and Collins Jose and Benshir Layoso (2350) were good for 14th and 19th places respectively.

Two rising stars of taekwondo—Samuel Thomas Morrison and 14 year-old Pauline Louise Lopez—reached the quarterfinal round before bowing out in the under 74 kgs and under 46 weight classes. Jyra Marie Lizardo (under 49) failed to get past the first round.

“We have nine more entries in various weight divisions. We did not get the breaks today but we remain confident of our medal chances,” said taekwondo coach Rocky Samson.

Good news for the day came from the first round triumph of Lopez in the 69 kg division of boxing against Bangladeshi Suruz Bangali, 5-1, and in golf where the four under par 68 of Miguel Luigi Yulo saw him one stroke ahead of Sri Lankan M. Kaluthanthrige and Koreans Meen Whee Kim and Jaehyok Lee in individual play of golf. The RP golf team (218), that includes Mhark Fernando, Carlos Puyat and Jerson Balasabas, was also breathing on the neck of pace-setting Korea (210). Balasabas is in a tie for ninth in the individual race at one over.

Maria Imelda Piccio was the best placed Filipina in the distaff side of golf with her six over par 78, good for a tie at 13th, behind leader Jin Yang of China (69) while the RP team was at sixth place (157) or 15 strokes behind leader China. The other members of the RP team are Chichiro Ikeda (79) and Dottie Ardina (82), whose score did not count.

Tennis likewise scored in walk over fashion advancing Cecil Mamiit and Treat Conrad Huey to the next round even as Johnny Arcilla and Ruben Gonzales downed Al Saad Fahad Sulaiman and Al Thagib Omar Sulaiman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 6-1 to likewise march on.

Veteran shooter Nathaniel “Tac” Padilla submitted a 9.417 in the 25m standard pistol and wound up 11th of 39 behind Korea’s Seonghwan Hong (9.583) while swimmer Miguel Molina ( 2:04.94) finished fifth of seven in the finals of the 200 individual medley won by Japan’s Ken Takakuwa (1:58.31).

Jackson Hong lost to Vietnam’s Lai Ly Hunyh while Sandy Chua took a beating from Macau’s Kuok U Long in Chinese chess called qiangqi in round five.

In the seventh and eighth races of double handed dinghy 470, Lester Troy Tayong and Emerson Villena placed fifth and while Reneric Moreno was sixth in both races 7 and 8 of the RS:X, in events dominated by China and Japan.

Rower Benjamin Tolentino yielded to Hong Kong’s Kwan Hoi Lok in the repechage of single sculls.

Filipinos played smart for two minutes and confused the rest of the way in a 48-65 loss to Iran and dampened down a lone bronze-medal producing day Tuesday.

Placing premium on dribbling, RP scored only ten points in each of the three quarters making an equally spotty game of the Iranians sufficient to frustrate the qualifier that closely beat Kuwait three nights ago.

Compared to Qatar which, methodically smothered India by 49 points prior to facing RP tonight, the Filipinos, a near 50-50 combination of amateurs and professionals, are a pick up team that did not have the time to practice together long enough and could only play it by ear.

The target quarterfinal seat has swiftly turned bleak for the RP basketball team which also has to hurdle Japan in its group where only two teams will advance to the next phase.

Sports Commissioner Chito Loyzaga, a key member of the silver medallist RP team in the 1990 Beijing Asiad, perfectly described the game when he cried, “Ang sakit sa mata panoorin.” Delegation officials jokingly asked Loyzaga to suit up but he quickly declined.

Even FIBA Asia President Sheikh Saud Al Thani of Qatar was quick to notice the RP dilemma and politely queried RP delegation officials, “What happened to your team?” as he stepped down from the VIP gallery just before the start of the third period.

Thanks to Mark Eddiva, however, a medal shutout was prevented when he took the 65 kgs division bronze of the wushu sansou event, the fourth for RP after the dancesports duo of Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras had earlier contributed two and bowler Frederick Ong one.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 17 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU -- Filipinos played smart for two minutes and confused the rest of the way in a 48-65 loss to Iran Tuesday night to dampen down a lone bronze-medal producing day for the Philippine delegation in the 16th Asian Games.

Placing premium on dribbling, RP scored only ten points in each of the three quarters making an equally spotty game of the Iranians sufficient to frustrate the qualifier that closely beat Kuwait three nights ago.

Compared to Qatar which, methodically smothered India by 49 points prior to facing RP tonight, the Filipinos, a near 50-50 combination of amateurs and professionals, are a pick up team that did not have the time to practice together long enough and could only play it by ear.

The target quarterfinal seat has swiftly turned bleak for the RP basketball team which also has to hurdle Japan in its group where only two teams will advance to the next phase.

Sports Commissioner Chito Loyzaga, a key member of the silver medallist RP team in the 1990 Beijing Asiad, perfectly described the game when he cried, “Ang sakit sa mata panoorin.” Delegation officials jokingly asked Loyzaga to suit up but he quickly declined.

Even FIBA Asia President Sheikh Saud Al Thani of Qatar was quick to notice the RP dilemma and politely queried RP delegation officials, “What happened to your team?” as he stepped down from the VIP gallery just before the start of the third period.

Thanks to Mark Eddiva, however, a medal shutout was prevented when he took the 65 kgs division bronze of the wushu sansou event, the fourth for RP after the dancesports duo of Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras had earlier contributed two and bowler Frederick Ong one.

RP has one gold medal courtesy of Engelberto “Biboy” Rivera in the bowling singles.

RP also started its boxing drive Tuesday night but was quickly stalled as Charly Suarez (56 kgs.) dropped a horrendous 1-7 decision to Dayinar Tulegenov of Kazaksthan.

Wilfredo Lopez (69 kgs.) seeks revenge today when he trades punches little known Suruz Bangali of Bangladesh.

In the few remaining events of 29 out of 43 sports in which RP competed, Rivera and Ong lead two other Filipino pairs—Chester King and Raul Miranda and Collins Jose and Benshir Layoso—in bowling doubles and swimmer Jasmin Alkhaldi try her luck in the 100 freestyle along with Daniel Coakley and Charles Walker today.

Miguel Molina will also seek qualification in the finals of the 200m individual medley and Erica Totten in the 800m freestyle.

Swimming’s only accomplishment of note is a seventh place finish in the men’s final of the 4X100 meter freestyle Tuesday night.

Taekwondo jins Samuel Morrison (under 74 kgs.) Jyra Marie Lizardo (under 49 kgs) and 14 year-old Pauline Lopez (under 46 kgs) also see action today seeking to put into fruition team officials’ hopes of snaring gold medals.

“Our exposure in the Korean Open was really very significant for this campaign,” noted coach Rocky Samson.

Rubilen Amit and Iris Ranola both gun for medal round play in 8-ball and 9-ball billiards while Dennis Orcollo and Warren Kiamco eye the same in 9-ball.

Sailing’s Lester Troy Tayong and and Emerson Villena, currently running fourth overall, get into the eighth of ten races in the men’s double handed dingy 470 while Reneric Romero run for races seven and eight in RS:X.

Rower Benjamin Tolentino seeks better fortunes in race 2 of the men’s single sculls.

Netters Cecil Mamiit and Treat Conrad Huey team up along with Johnny Arcilla and Ruben Gonzales for the doubles contest beginning today.

Jackson Hong, lingering at 12th spot and Sandy Chua, third from last at 16th, resume play in qiangqi (Chinese chess) even as grandmasters Joey Antonio and Wesley So wound up 13th and 14th places out of 46 behind winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan in the battle of chess individual honours. The team competitions start in three days when John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo join So and Antonio

In what couldvery well be his farewell performance in the Asiad, Nathaniel "Tac" Padilla shoots in the 25m standard pistol event at the Aoti shooting range.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 16 NOVEMBER 2010 (AS OF 6:00PM)

GUANGZHOU—RP’’s report card for the day had red marks one too many, putting increased pressure on the remaining cast of the lean delegation to transcend their limits if only to hit the delegation’s objectives in the 16th Asian Games.

Out to better the 4-6-9 gold-silver-bronze collection of 2006 in Doha, Qatar, the Philippine contingent lowered gears after Engelberto “Biboy” Rivera of bowling had elevated the crew into the gold medal winners’ circle the night before.

The brightest note for the Filipinos was the advance of wushu’s Mark Eddiva in the 65 kilogram division of sanshou where he is assured of a bronze when he fights China’s Junyon Zhang in the semifinal phase late Tuesday night.

Shooting, sailing, judo and rowing had another poor round that negated minor achievements in soft tennis, billiards and swimming, where the 4X100m freestyle team made tonight’s finals with the sixth best time among eight qualifiers.

Rivera’s female teammates—Liza del Rosario and Liza Clutario—also could not keep pace as they placed 13th and 24th respectively in batch A of women’s singles pinning the hopes on sisters Mariane Daisy Posadas and Lara Posadas and Kimberly Mae Lao, who are entered in batch B.

“It has not been a good day but we are maintaining hopes that we will hit our targets,” said Chef de Mission Joey Romasanta who has been hopping from one venue to another despite the prohibitive distances to closely monitor the RP campaign.

Romasanta only had high hopes for taekwondo 8 and 9-ball of billiards, where Dennis Orcullo had just turned back Mongolia’s Purevsuren Odkhuu, 9-2. Warren Kiamco, Iris Ranola and Rubilen Amit, are all live bets for today in 9-ball competitions.

The taekwondo squad, fresh from a successful stint in the world-class Korea Open is set to unravel its might on Wednesday.

He, however, expressed guarded optimism on basketball and boxing which has been hounded by some injuries. Tonight RP plays powerhouseIran while Charly Suarez is the first Filipino boxer called for duty.

Filipino athletes simply could not match the opposition’s strength on the pool where Jamine Alkhaldi ( 26.75)made only fifth in her heat for the 50m freestyle won by Chinese Si Zhe Li (25.41) while Charles William Walker (59.57) was likewise fifth of 8 behind Japanese Junya Roga (54.45) in the men’s 100m backstroke.

Ryan Arabejo (4:03.36) was third and Jessie Khing Lacuna sixth in the third heat of the 400m freestyle behind China’s Lin Zhang (3:54.62).

Rivera’s golden roll in the singles of bowling that was made sweeter with Frederick Ong’s bronze did not rub off on top female track cyclist Marites Bitbit, who managed only five points in the women’s point race, a world apart from the 34 garnered by winner Liu Xin of China.

Left to carry the brunt for RP in cycling is John Renee Mier in Tuesday afternoon’s men’s point race.

In a rather long list of uninspired performances, Roque Abala and Alvin Amposta were nearly 11 seconds behind the Japanese duo of Kenta Tadachi and Kenta Kotani in race 2 of the lightweight men’s double of rowing.

Soft tennis had a downhill run as Noelle Zoleta, lost two matches in women’s singles to counterparts from China and Chinese-Taipei, and so did Joseph Arcilla to Korea and Japan.

Samuel Noguit, the remaining medal shot of the sport, redeemed his team as he beat Mongolia’s Bayartogtokh Radnaabazar, 4-3 while Cheryl Macasera blanked Bulgan Norovsuren also of Mongolia, 4-0 in first round encounters. Macasera, however, lost to Taiwanese Wan Chi Chiang, 0-4, in the next round while Noguit marched to the quarterfinal after whipping Nepal’s Ashok Singh, 4-0 but ended up fifth overall as did Macasera.

Shooter Alyanna Kystle Chuatoco continued to miss badly, finishing last among 44 in the women’s 25m pistol qualification even as judo completed its schedule without anything to show.

Filipino-Japanese Hoshina Tomohiko bowed to Uzbekistan’s Utkir Kurbanov in the over 100 kgs. division and Nancy Quillotes surrendered to Tombi Devi of India in the women’s 48 kgs. class capping a forgettable stint for Filipino judokas, who scored only one win in six divisions.

On Monday night, Rey Grandea slightly recovered in carom 3 cushions beating Thailand’s Thongchai Punyawee, and Ranola clobbered Haifa’a Alanser of Athletes from Kuwait, 7-1 in 9-ball singles to advance closer to the medal play. Grandea later lost to Vietnam’s Anh Vu Duong 18-40.

Other billiards athletes, however, continue to struggle as Floriza Andal got a good beating from Chinese Taipei’s Chan Ya-Ting, 4-0 in six-red ball snooker, Mary Ann Basas dropped a 3-4 thriller to Korea’s Ram Bo Cha in carom 3 cushion and Rodolfo Luat lost to Vinh The Ly of Vietnam, 29-40 also in carom.

Grandmasters Joey Antonio and Wesley so each collected a point and a half in three matches Monday, and both had slim chances for medals with only 4.5 points after eight rounds of a 9-round Swiss format for individual honours.

Participating in the Chinese chess called qianqi, Jackson Hong halved the points (2) with Singaporean Alvin Tsung Han while Sandy Chua lost to Lei Kam Fun of Macau leaving them out of medal reach.

Getting no breaks from the crack field, RP sailors Emerson Villena and Lester Troy Tayong landed fourth among seven and fifth of seven in two races of men’s double handed dingy 470 and Reneric Romero could only manage sixth of ten in races 3 and 4 of RSX.


BIBOY RIVERA OF BOWLING BAGGED THE FIRST GOLD MEDAL FOR RP
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 15 NOVEMBER 2010 (AS OF 7:00PM)

GUANGZHOU—Bowler Engelberto “Biboy” Rivera emerged kingpin for the Philippines, snaring the nation’s first gold medal in the 16th Asian Games in response to a resounding wake up call from a dancing duo that delivered two bronze medals last Sunday.

Rivera’s magnificent 365 in the final sixth game more than made up for a shaky 196 in the 52-man batch A and his 237.5 average withstood the challenge of all 52 in group B ending the tension filled half-day wait for the lean RP delegation that hopes to improve on the 4-6-9 gold-silver-bronze haul of 2006 in Doha, Qatar. Rivera had a total 1414 pinfalls.

“I sincerely hope that this is the start of better things to come,” said a beamingPhilippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojaungco Jr. who was an excited spectator along with Sports Commission chairman Ritchie Garcia and daughter Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, an Asiad gold medallist who carried the national colours during the opening day parade Wednesday.

With a full complement for the trios and team of five, Rivera can also shoot for the all events gold.

Frederick Ong made it even sweeter for the 12-man bowling crew salvaging the bronze with a total 1390 behind Kuwaiti Mohammed Algreebah who was on Rivera’s neck all the way with 1404.

Despite the dolorous showing in swimming and judo, Filipinos were able to position themselves in chess and women’s billiards.

Daniel Coakley placed 16th out of 43 in the 50m freestyle heats and Erica Totten was booted out for a third time in as many days, today in the 200m butterfly placing 9thout of 13 pre-qualifiers.

The Philippine quartet of Jessie Khing Lacuna, Charles William Walker, Ryan Paolo Arabejo and Miguel Molina also did not make the grade for the final eight in the 4X200 freestyle relay turning in 7:33.52 or 14.22 seconds slower than a Chinese foursome that topped heat one.

A day after the fiasco that prevented the advance of RP’s six-red balls team to the medal round of play, small but terrible Rubilen Amit and steady Iris Ranola scored wins in succession in the 8-ball event to cut short the misfortunes of billiards, one of few disciplines that pose strong medal hopes for Filipinos.

Amit bulldozed Uyanga Battulga of Mongolia, 5-0 while Ranola had some shaky moments before subduing Zoljargal Zorigt also of Mongolia, 5-3, triumphs that were trimming to the bronze medals of Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras in cha cha cha and paso doble events of dancesports Sunday afternoon.

Ranola will also start her bid in 9-ball on Monday evening. Also seeing action that day are Mary Ann Basas and Floriza Andal in snooker singles, Rodolfo Luat and Rey Grandea in singles carom three cushions..

The two dancers along with 10 others and team officials left in huff for ManilaMonday morning to share the country’s bright sports moment with Filipinos, still agog over the eighth world title of Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who had just pummelledAntonio Margarito also on Sunday.

“All the team officials knew that we would score even in the face of tough competitions. We are very proud of our dancers because they all trained hard for this Asian Games. We could have done better but we are still very happy to have contributed to the country’s cause,” said Maria Neto and lawyer Noel Laman, officials of the dancesports federation.

Grandmaster Wesley So had a win-draw tally in round four and found himself in ideal position at third in a tie with seven other at 3.0, just a full point behind fellow GM and leader Le Quang Liem of Vietnam while GM Joey Antonio is in a seven-man logjam at 2.5. The two will play three matches today before completing the nine-round Swiss system race for individual honors.

In Chinese chess, Jackson Hong and Sandy Chua both faltered in the second round leaving them in the middle of the pile with one point apiece.

Eduard Folayang, a rising star of the mixed-martial arts show URCC, bumped into the strongest bet of his 70 kgs. class in the sansou event of wushu, Yong Zhang of Chinaand lost in the first round while Mary Jane Estimar managed to reach the quarterfinal of the 52 kgs. division where she yielded to Iran’s strongwoman Elaheh Samiroumi Mansoryan.

Early Monday the Philippines dropped its doubles match in soft tennis to Japan 0-5 and the mixed doubles encounter with Chinese Taipei, 2-5 while Benjamin Tolentino was nearly 24 seconds behind the pace in race 2 of the single sculls heat of rowing.

Veteran Nathaniel Padilla ended up 14th in a batch 25 in 25m rapid fire pistol while Jason Valdez was worse, landing second to last in a group of 54 that showed up for the 50m rifle prone.

Hidilyn Diaz, only 19 and still getting better, topped group B of the 58 kgs with a snatch and clean and jerk total of 209 kgs although her medal chances will depend on the outcome of the group A contest where China is expected to dominate along with Korea.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 15 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Drawing inspiration from the medal-winning performance of a dancesports duo, the Philippines nailed fancied victories in the preliminaries of women’s billiards and chess in the 16th Asian Games.

A day after the fiasco that prevented the advance of RP’s six-red balls team to the medal round of play, small but terrible Rubilen Amit and steady Iris Ranola scored wins in succession in the 8-ball event to cut short the misfortunes of billiards, one of few disciplines that pose strong medal hopes for Filipinos.

Amit bulldozed Uyanga Battulga of Mongolia, 5-0 while Ranola had some shaky moments before subduing Zoljargal Zorigt also of Mongolia, 5-3, triumphs that were trimming to the bronze medals of Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras in cha cha cha and paso doble events of dancesports Sunday afternoon.

The two dancers along with 10 others and team officials left in huff for Manila Monday morning to share the country’s bright sports moment with Filipinos, still agog over the eighth world title of Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who had just pummelled Antonio Margarito also on Sunday.

“All the team officials knew that we would score even in the face of tough competitions. We are very proud of our dancers because they all trained hard for this Asian Games. We could have done better but we are happy with these results,” said Maria Neto and lawyer Noel Laman, officials of the dancesports federation.

Grandmaster Wesley So had a win-draw tally in round four and found himself in ideal position at third in a tie with seven other at 3.0, just a full point behind fellow GM and leader Le Quang Liem of Vietnam while GM Joey Antonio is in a seven-man logjam at 2.5. The two will play three matches today before completing the nine-round Swiss system race for individual honors.

In Chinese chess, Jackson Hong and Sandy Chua both faltered in the second round leaving them in the middle of the pile with one point apiece.

Eduard Folayang, a rising star of the mixed-martial arts show URCC, bumped into the strongest bet of his 70 kgs. class in the sansou event of wushu, Yong Zhang of China and lost in the first round while Mary Jane Estimar managed to reach the quarterfinal of the 52 kgs. division where she yielded to Iran’s strongwoman Elaheh Samiroumi Mansoryan.

Early Monday the Philippines dropped its doubles match in soft tennis to Japan 0-5 and the mixed doubles encounter with Chinese Taipei, 2-5.


PHILIPPINE'S FIRST BRONZE MEDAL IN 16th ASIAN GAMES
ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 14 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—Never underestimate the flair of the Filipino on the dance floor. In an introductory discipline of the Asiad, Ronnie Steeve Vergara and Charlea Lagaras assembled cha cha cha and paso doble routines competitive enough for an international array of judges and worth bronze medals that momentarily stopped the bleeding in all other fronts for the Philippines in the 16th Asian Games here.

Driven by the tough breaks in the standard category a day ago, the Filipino couple danced their hearts out to capture the initial medals of the country. China’s Shi Lei and Zhang Baiyu won the gold in cha cha cha and Korea’s Kim Do Hyeon and Park Sumyo the silver.

In the paso doble, the gold went to China’s Wang Wei and Chen Jin while the silver was won by Korea’s Jang Se Jin and Lee Hae In.

“We will keep on fighting. We know that our rivals are strong too but our dancers are determined,” said Maria Neto of the DanceSports federation before the event.

In the general picture, China’s pace is a whirlwind that devours everyone within breathing distance and even those who wishfully think they can catch up could only bite their nails in awe.

On the second day of competitions in the 16th Asian Games, China moved briskly to turn Japan and Korea into pseudo threats and all others stymied including Filipinos who could not get past the first fence in the face of near Olympics class performances.

Amid an all-China show in the medal standing, RP has yet to break into the elite circle of winners as the bleeding continued in rowing, shooting, swimming, tennis, triathlon, and dancesports.

A day before, the pesky soft tennis team missed the medal boat after a 2-1 loss to defending Asiad champion Chinese-Taipei winding up fifth overall out of 14 and the six-red balls women’s team of billiards controversially dropped a quarterfinal match against host China.

Chinese Taipei likewise prevented the advance of the Philippine lawn tennis squad to the medal phase, claiming the two singles matches in the quarters.

The Philippine billiards team had the most depressing day as Efren Bata Reyes and Roberto Gomez dropped their first round assignments in 8-ball competitions and Rey Grandea faltered in English billiards.

Alvin Barbero and Marlon Manalo also lost in the opening round of snooker.

In spite of the close victory of the men’s basketball team over the Athletes from Kuwait, 76-69, there was no cause for celebration at building 28-c, 28 d and 31, of the athletes’ village where Filipinos are billeted.

Husband and wife Joel and Anabelle Madera flirted with the medal round in waltz, bowing out in the semis, the highest achievement of the dancesport crew which made quarterfinals in tango, foxtrot and Latin Five Dances events.

Filipino boxers flew in Saturday night for reinforcement but the depletion of hope continued as Alvin Amposta and Roque Abala failed in heat two of rowing, finishing fourth among six with 6:55.36, way off leader Sun Zhang and Jie Guolin of China (6:27.81).

Mark Lloren Manosca was 45th among 50 in men’s 10 meter air pistol while Alyana Kystle Chuatoco was 44th among 52 in the qualifying stage of the distaff group.

The pools of Guangzhou were as unkind to Jessie King Lacuna, and Erica Totten. Lacuna was fifth among eight in his 200m freestyle heat and did not even start in the 100m butterfly heats. Totten was dead last in a group of five,16.17 seconds behind winner Li Xuanxu of China who blazed to a 4:45.42 in the 400 individual medley.

Judoka Karen Ann Solomon had a fine start in beating Libya’s Louize Bourached in the 70 kgs. division but successive losses to Korea’s Hwang Ye Sul and Mongolia’s Tsend Ayush Naranjargal in the repechage booted her out of the medal race.

Tested to the limit, 46-year-old John Baylon fought and lost to world number one Kim Jae Bum of Korea in the 81 kgs. class.

In another heart-breaker, Apryl Eppinger finished a notch shy in the qualifying run of women’s sprint in cycling (track).

Triathlete Neil Catiil was good only for 14th among 19 in the men’s individual category, more than 13 minutes behind the eventual winner Hosoda Yuichi who clocked 1:52:15.16.

Double handed dingy 470 racers Emerson Villena and Lester Troy Tayong placed fifth among seven in the event ruled by Japan’s Ryunosuke Harada and Yugo Yoshida while Reneric Moreno ended up sixth in a field of 10 in men’s RSX.

Artistic gymnast Frances Audrey Munoz opened her bid in four events but results are not yet available as of Sunday afternoon.

Late Sunday, Rubilen Amit, the strongest medal hope in women’s billiards opens her campign while in chess grandmasters Joey Antonio and Wesley So seek to improve their 1-1 win-loss cards and Jackson Hong and Sandy Chua have the same targets in qiangqi or Chinese chess.

The dancesports team will also perform in the Latin dances contests hoping to break China’s dominance.


ASIAN GAMES STORY FROM CHIEF OF MISSION JOEY ROMASANTA
ON 13 NOVEMBER 2010

GUANGZHOU—A little-known men’s soft tennis team, the steady hands of Treat Conrad Huey and veteran Cecil Mamiit plus a change of heart by the technical committee of dancesports were the bright spots of an otherwise drab day for Filipinos on opening day of 16th Asian Games competitions here.

Fighting for flag and a long overdue recognition of their discipline, Giovanni Pietro Mamawal, Joseph Arcilla, Mikoff Manduriao, Samuel Noguit and Jomar Arcilla trade strokes with 2006 Doha Asian Games champion Chinese Taipei on Sunday for a medal round berth that will put either team in the company of other bigwigs Korea and Japan.

“We knew it would be tough like the 2006 Asian Games in Doha but we trained hard and hopefully, our players can reach the semis,” said association head Col. Jeff Tamayo.

Tamayo’s guarded optimism takes into consideration the tough results of the draw that placed them with their 0-3 tormentor Korea in the two-doubles, one-singles contest.

The team reached the third round via 3-0 thrashing of Nepal.

Not as fortunate, the women’s team finished seventh overall in a field of eight teams divided into two groups.

As keen on reaching the medal phase, Huey and Mamiit shook off Kyrgyzstan ’s Kotliarevskii Georgi and Duldaev Daniiar in separate singles to advance to the third round of lawn tennis team competition.

At the same time, a series of appeals from members of the International Federation late Friday convinced the technical committee of dancesports that alternates Joel Madera and wife Anabelle deserved a number in lieu of Karla and Brian Joseph Ocana, suspended by the IF for participating in a non-sanctioned event.

“This is a great development because as per information from the team leaders, the couple are medal potentials,” Chief of Mission Joey Romasanta said with a sigh of relief. The couple will perform in the standard category late Saturday afternoon in a venue roughly one hour and a half away from the Games Village .

China assumed the position everyone expects, claiming 15 gold medals on the first day while South Korea snatched four, Japan 3 and Hong Kong 1.

No other Filipino made it past the first round in sports where medals were already up for grabs including judo where Ruth Dugaduga stumbled against Chinese Yang Xiuli in only 49 seconds, Fil-Japanese Kenji Yahata bowed to Iran ’s man mountain Javad Mahjoub and Tomohiko Yoshina lost to wide load Yerzhan Suyukeyev of Kazakhstan .

Air rifleman Jason Valdez shot 585 in the preliminaries and found himself in the middle of the 50-man pack in the 10-meter event of shooting, an event won by China ’s Zhu Qinan with his near perfect 702 aggregate.

The velodrome also yielded unkind results for RP as John Renee Mier watched his time of 4:53 withstand only six rounds at number one before finally settling at 19th place of the 4,000m individual pursuit where 16 were to qualify for the medal race.

Australia-based Apryl Eppinger, perhaps awed by a new breed of rivals, finished ninth among ten in the 500m time trials for women four second behind the eventual winner Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong, who clocked 33.94.

Strongman Nestor Colonia delivered the best performance for the day placing sixth among 15 in the 56 kg showdown though he hoisted only 255 or 30 kilos of steel less than gold medal winner Wu Jingbiao of China.

Swimmers Jasmin Alkhaldi and Erica Totten both finished seventh in their heats in the 200m freestyle and failed to advance. Alkahldi also did not make the cut for the 100m butterfly.

Filipinos hope to save the day in billiards, dancesports and basketball.