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(C) Ed Picson

32nd SEA Games

ABAP hopes to have made late Ed Picson proud with four-gold SEAG harvest

Wherever the late president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, Ed Picson, may be, chances are he is smiling.

ABAP secretary-general Marcus Jarwin Manalo believes that the national boxing team has made Picson proud after bringing home four golds, five silvers, and one bronze, totaling 10 medals from the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

Only two out of the 12 boxers sent to the games failed to win a medal.

“They were really motivated from the start. I told them that if we could put up a performance that Sir Ed would be very proud of, we should show that,” said Manalo.

“I think Sir Ed would be happy with this performance.”

Picson passed away last April just as the national boxing team was intensifying its preparations for the SEA Games.

Refusing to disappoint the late boxing chief, nine boxers reached the finals in the biennial meet, with four emerging victorious in their respective weight classes.

Olympic silver medalists Nesthy Petecio (women’s 57kg) and Carlo Paalam (men’s 54kg) led the Philippines’ gold medal charge, along with Ian Clark Bautista (men’s 57kg) and Paul Julyfer Bascon (men’s 60kg).

Rogen Ladon (men’s 51kg), Irish Magno (women’s 54kg), Norlan Petecio (men’s 67kg), Riza Pasuit (women’s 63kg), and John Marvin (men’s 80kg) secured silver medals.

Basketball player-turned-boxer Markus Tongco added a bronze medal in the men’s 92kg class.

“Overall, we are satisfied with the results,” said Manalo.

“I feel like we could have probably won one more gold, but I can’t really complain with 10 medals.”

As Filipino sluggers gear up for the “big one” – the Asian Games, where spots in the 2024 Paris Games are up for grabs – Manalo said the team needs fine-tuning.

“There are obviously a lot of areas for improvement with the team, and we’ll keep working on that. We saw a lot that we could address. We also need to have a younger lineup. We’ll start exposing our younger boxers in the upcoming tournaments to give them a shot.”

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