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Despite SEA Games absence, Women’s Boxing Team in high spirits after 1-day tourney

The Philippine Sports Commission, in partnership with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, held a one-day women and girls boxing tournament, Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The event was part of the PSC’s women’s martial arts tournament and had two divisions, namely the Youth Girls Division and the Elite Women Division for members of the national team.

In the Youth Girls Division, the flyweights kicked off the day’s action, with Janine Pangod making quick work of fellow Baguio native Jeah Maplinic. The first bout ended in Round 1, in favor of Pangod, after the referee called two consecutive standing counts against her opponent.

The next two matches proceeded and ended as quickly with stoppages in the first round. Judilyn Casin won against fellow national team teammate Jima Boja via shots to the body, while Wushu-practitioner turned boxer Claudine Veloso won over Jarissa Sumilao via a straight left hand that knocked down her opponent.

The last of the Youth Girls Division bouts, meanwhile, ended with a split decision win for Faith Yosayos against Arla Chalis, while in the Elite Women Flyweight category, Irish Magno held off a spirited Aira Villegas. Both Magno and Villegas were able to showcase their speed and combinations in the competitive affair, but it was Magno who came out on top with a unanimous decision win, owing to her sustained aggressiveness and slick defense.

In all, there were six bouts contested in four different weight categories.

Last but not least, in the last match of the day, Nesthy Petecio won a lop-sided decision over teammate Florence May Oliveros.

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A silver medalist in the 2014 World Championships, Petecio outgunned the younger Oliveros with her speed, accuracy, and body work—with Petecio employing the Philly Shell defense and often switching stances to open up Oliveros to a variety of angled attacks.

Though it was a veteran versus neophyte affair, it was to the credit of Oliveros, who had only started training with the team in June, that she was able to withstand the onslaught from Petecio and finish the bout despite a standing count in the third and last round.

Ruel Velasco, head coach of the women’s national boxing team, noted the improvement of his wards and the competitive nature of the bouts, saying, “Hindi naman sila nag-alalayan. Bigay todo talaga.”

An Olympic sport since 2012, women’s boxing was officially removed from the list of events for the 29th SEA Games to be held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19 to 31.

According to Petecio, while the team was saddened at first, they respect the decision of the host country.

“Na-feel sad po kami, pero nirerespeto ko naman yung decision ng host country. Kasi sabi nga po nila ‘pag Philippines din yung mag-host, kahit ano pong ilagay namin, kahit anong sports po yung tanggalin namin, magagawa po namin. So nirerespeto po namin. Kasi para sakin po ah, [kahit] wala pong SEA Games, madami pa namang ibang laro na pwede namin [salihan para] mapakita yung best performance namin.”

For Petecio, she says, her own sights are on the Olympics in 2020.

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