It was a crazy day for the Philippine contingent filled with highs and lows as favorites succumbed, and an underdog managed to snatch gold after a 10 year drought. In addition, the duo of Treat Huey and Denise Dy highlight the day for the Nationals in successfully defending their mixed doubles action.
This is at the SEA Games Episode 13
By: Aeron Valderrama, Aldo Tong, Kim Leong, Migs Flores, Levi Verora, Paolo Poblador and Matthew Li
Archery: Compound archers close campaign on podium
At the final day of the 2015 SEA Games archery competitions, the Philippine collected medals in all but one event in compound archery.
The women’s compound team of veterans Amaya Cojuangco, Jennifer Chan, and Joann Tabanag snared the bronze medal following a 210-208 squeaker against a surprisingly good Singapore squad. The Filipinas led 54-49 after the first end, and proceeded to eke out a 53-52 edge in the following frame. With a 101-107 deficit, the hometown trio of Christina Gunawan, Contessa Loh, and Madeleine Ong powered to a 55-50 third end. The Philippines would pulled through in the final round to get the victory and the medal.
It was a different story when the men’s team faced the hosts’ pack. After the first end, it was a precarious one-point lead, 56-55, for Paul Marton dela Cruz, Delfin Adriano, and Earl Benjamin Yap of the Philippines. The Nationals, then, 116 as opposed to the 109 of Toh Jin Pang, Han Teng Ang, and Ting Hao Leow to put the match out of reach. Even as Singapore registered almost a perfect score in 59 the last round, the 58 of the Filipinos sealed the deal.
Cojuangco and Yap then paired up for the country’s third bronze of the day. The pair shot an average of 38’s out of the possible 40 in all ends to capture the medal over Indonesia’s Rona Siska Sari and Sapriatno Sapriatno. The Filipino duo led by just a single point before the last round, after a 39 by the Indonesians at the third end. The veteran tandem of the Philippines won it with a 39-37 final end gap.
In the country’s only chance at gold in the sport, world top player, Cojuangco, faltered to Fatin Mat Salleh of Malaysia in a close battle, 136-138, to settle for the silver. It was a see-saw battle, where the Filipina took the early lead in the first end. Mat Salleh stole the lead after the third frame, 81-80. After an even 27 in the penultimate frame, a 10 in the first arrow in the final round from the Malaysian was enough for her to take the gold medal, leaving the Philippines without a gold after the Games.
It was a disappointing finish for the entire archery delegation who boasts of a great mix of veterans and fresh blood. The contingent, however, has something to build on with notable performances. The compound archers accounted for all the Philippine medals with one silver and three bronzes, as the recurve athletes went home empty-handed.
Badminton: Ronel Estanislao and Joper Escueta advance to semis
After making short work of their Cambodian opponents in the round of 16, reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Joper Escueta and former Green Archer Ronel Estanislao had a tough match-up against hometown favorites, Hendra Wijaya and Yong Kai Terry Hee, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Filipino tandem had a hard time going through the Singaporean duo in the first set as constant errors and excellent returns gave the opponents the lead early in the match. Fortunately, Estanislao and Escueta were able to find their footing in gaining the lead and, later on, winning the set 21-18. The tandem continued the momentum they gained in winning the second set 21-15. The Philippine team moves on to the semifinals to face the Indonesian team of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamulto at 5:20pm.
NU Bulldog, Gabriel Magnaye, and former UP Maroon, Paul Vivas, did not find luck in their favor this day as they were eliminated by Indonesia’s Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama in straight sets. The Filipinos were outclassed by Indonesia’s young guns 21-16, 21-8.
Basketball: The biggest challenge faced by the country in ten years
The Gilas Cadets found themselves in a totally unfamiliar scene, but willed through behind its big guns, who delivered in the clutch to avoid tragedy and clip a gutsy Thailand side, 80-75, Sunday in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball semi-final, in front of a packed OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Kiefer Ravena nailed a huge triple in the dying moments of the fourth that punctuated the Philippines comeback, allowing the team to advance in the gold medal round against the winner of the Singapore-Indonesia match.
The Philippines had a sloppy first half, receiving a huge scare and trailing by as much as 12, before facing a 33-43 deficit entering the halftime break.
Almond Vosotros, however, started to carry the nationals behind his hot sniping from downtown, hitting three after three, as the Gilas Cadets battled back and snatched the lead, 52-51.
It was a neck-and-neck affair after that point with Troy Rosario also providing the damage underneath. A triple by Vosotros broke a 59-all deadlock, although free throws from Thailand made it 64-63, Gilas lead, after Glenn Khobuntin was thrown out due to an altercation.
Vosotros, however, hit another trey to make it 67-63 before Troy Rosario scored three straight baskets to dodge whatever bullet Thailand fired.
A split by Rosario made it 76-73 before a layup from Thailand pulled the team within one. Coming off the timeout, Ravena, then, hit a the dagger three to ice the game and preserve Gilas’ unblemished record.
Rosario scored 27 points, including 7 of the last 11 points of the Philippines, and hauled down 12 rebounds, while Vosotros fired 18 on 6-for-11 shooting from long range.
Ravena added 12 in the win that avoided humiliation for the nationals. The Philippines return to action tomorrow in the final.
Bowling: Philippines loses early advantage, ends Women’s Masters without medal
Returning for the last time at the Orchard Country Club for the last day of the 2015 SEAG Bowling Tournament, Filipinos were in high spirits as a clear advantage was won by Team Philippines the day before. This initial advantage was made possible by the powerful efforts of Krizziah Tabora during the first block as her performance bagged her the second place.
Sadly, Tabora’s efforts in the first block, as well as a similar effort in second block, proved to be a tad lacking, as she crashes all the way to eighth, while a resurgent Liza del Rosario overtook her from an initial 13th position to end seventh. Despite a powerful performance from both Tabora and del Rosario, their undoing came due to a resurgent Team Singapore, who thundered their way through the lanes to bag the gold and the silver and forcing Indonesia to simply go home with a bronze. Bowlers from Singapore, however, did not feel contented with their top two finish, as they also take home the fourth, fifth and sixth place position to end as the strongest team for the Women’s Masters. Completing Team Philippines was Marie Alexis Sy, who despite failing to get back on track, still delivered a noteworthy performance as she successfully climbs up one spot to escape a last place finish at 15th.
Cycling: No medals in Team PH last day
The men of the Philippine cycling contingent failed to leave their mark on the 2015 SEA Games, as the cycling competitions drew to a close, Thursday, at the Marina Bay South.
George Oconer, Rustom Lim, and Ronald Oranza finished in 3:19:33 along with 24 others, only to place at 15th, 18th, and 21st. Jan Paul Morales clocked in 3:19:41 to end up 28th. Mark John Galedo, who had a forgettable SEAG stint this time after winning a gold in 2013, and Jerry Aquino Jr., rounds up our entries in the event after placing 30th and 31st, respectively.
Floorball: Team PH ends in fourth
Despite the odds, the Philippine men’s floorball team fought hard in their last match of the Games in the bronze medal match against Malaysia. In the end, the more experienced Malaysians got the victory, 11-3.
It was a tight first half of the first period as both teams remain scoreless. Malaysian Sjaiful Anuar Adzahar broke the deadlock with the first goal of the match off a pass from Ter Min Chiam. Philippine top scorer Mark Anthony Polo then evened the count after breaking through the defense. It was an onslaught afterwards as the third-seeds registered 6 goals after two periods. Polo squeezed in another goal as the second period drew to a close.
In the final canto, the Malaysians restored a six-goal cushion off a power play after Filipino Hazzer Talingdan was called for a two-minute penalty in the 39:39 mark of the match. Zephaniah Chong slotted his team’s eighth goal off an assist by Indy Benjamin Toh. Jan Claude Vitaliano found Mark Cerdon in the following play for the Nationals to cut the gap back to five, 3-8. Three more goals sealed the win and the bronze for the Malaysians.
Rowing: Philippines earns silver and bronze in Finals
In the men’s lightweight single Finals, Justine Karyle Vinas fell short of a podium finish, as he ended up fourth with a record of 3.46.68. Melca Jen Caballero, who participated in the women’s single sculls lightweight Finals, finished fifth overall with a record of 4.14.21. The Philippines earned their first medal of the day in the men’s single sculls Finals, as Nestor Cordova finished second overall with a record of 3.30.47. Philippines earned another medal, as the pair of Benjamin Tolentino Jr and Edgar Ilas ended the men’s lightweight double Finals with a record of 3.15.04, good enough for third place. For the final event of the Philippines, Alvin Amposta and Roque Abala Jr. finished fifth overall in the men’s pair Finals with a record of 3.25.85.
Sailing: Gold after 10 years
At the close of the 28th SEAG sailing regatta, the Philippines ended its decade-long gold medal drought in the sport.
The male fleet racing keelboat trio of Ridgely Balladres, Rommel Chavez, and Richly Magsanay, pulled a win when it mattered most. The Philippines edged favorites Singapore in the final race to snare the gold medal. The trio earlier finished with a 1-1 win-loss record in the round robin qualifiers after winning against Thailand and losing to the hosts. The win secured the first mint of the country in sailing since 2005, where we hosted the Games.
Unfortunately, the female squad failed to duplicate this success, as Thailand edged them in the bronze medal race. Jerene Durana, Rye Lee Caasi, Cyrin Ann Guingona, and Rheycilla Manaog comprised the team.
Squash: Espinola and Pelino advances to the last four
Ricky Espinola and David Pelino continued the counrty’s magical run in squash, as the 28th SEA Games jumbo men’s doubles event rolled at the Kallang Tennis Center.
The Filipino duo bucked an opening tie lost against Singapore’s Jia Phua and Vivian Rhamanan to win over Yan Naung Oo and Thet Paing of Myanmar in the following assignment and reach the semifinals. Phua and Rhamanan smothered the Nationals, 11-4 11-5, in the first match of the group phase. Espinola and Pelino bounced back with a thrashing of Oo and Paing, 11-2 11-7.
With the win, Espinola and Pelino finished second in the group and will face Ade Furkon and Sandi Perdana of Indonesia in the semifinals. A win catapults the Filipinos to a chance of getting more than a bronze for the country.
Sepak Takraw: Philippines enters Semis
The team of Jason Huerte, Emmanuel Escote, and Rheyjey Ortouste came out victorious in both of their games for the day. They overcame Laos, 24-22, 21-9 for their first game of the day, then they defeated Brunei 21-15, 21-15.
With the two victories, the Philippines qualifies for the Semifinals, where they go up against Singapore.
Tennis: Dy and Huey retains SEAG title
After several hours of delay, Treat Huey and Denise Dy defended their 2013 title in mixed doubles in a gruelling 7-6 6-4 win over Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech and Sanchai Rattiwatana. Huey ended the match with an ace to underline the tandem’s dominance in the event for the past two stagings of the Games.
Dy, after a 45-minute rest, took the court again for the women’s doubles finals. The veteran SEAG campaigne, along her partner, Katharina Lehnert, failed to make it a second gold for the Philippines. The well-rested pair of Lertcheewakarn Noppawan and Wongteanchai Varatchaya took two breaks of serve in each of the sets to get the mint, 6-3 6-4. The Filipinas had their moments of in the match; however, it was the steady play of Wongteanchai at the net that lifted the Thais to the victory.
Nevertheless, the win by Dy and Huey prevented a sweep of the golds for Thailand. The tennis athletes snared a total of 8 medals: 1 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronzes, which is at least one medal for each of the seven events.
Waterski: Team PH punctuates campaign with bronze
The young athletes of the Philippine waterski contingent closed out their 2015 Games with another medal, as the competitions ended at the Bedok Reservoir.
Mark Howard Griffin, Angelo Louise Linao, and Maiquel Selga collected the bronze in mixed wakeboard team event after amassing 65, 30, and 45 points, respectively, for a total of 140. Thailand snared the gold with 325, while Singapore got the silver with 255.
The Philippines ended their campaign with three bronzes: men’s wakeboard, women’s wakeboard, and mixed wakeboard team.
Volleyball: THA cuts Pinoys’ SEAG journey short
Facing the region’s most prominent volleyball nation, the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team were shown the door out of the 2015 SEA Games tournament; falling to Thailand in a quick three sets, 25-21, 25-16, 25-13 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
After a close first set, the Nationals ran out of steam and fell quickly to the blistering pace set by the Thais. Thailand outclassed the Philippines in every statiscal category especially offensively. The Nationals scored 31 times off 69 attempts and recorded a measly 18.84% spiking efficiency which was a result of their 22 errors. The Thais went for a staggering 49% attacking clip on 41 for 69 attempts. They were also stingy in giving away free points, limiting themselves to 14 errors.
Two-time UAAP MVP, Marck Espejo was the only National to hit double digits, scoring a game-high 17 points but was greatly limited in the latter portion of the match as the Thai defense adjusted and took care of his hits better. Peter Torres and John Vic De Guzman provided the best support they could but only managed six points apiece against the more athletic Thai side.
Thailand on the other hand had a more balanced scoring sheet, having three players in double digits. Raksakaew Jirayu had 13 markers while Nilasawai Kissada and Sritutthawong contributed 11 points apiece.
The Pinoys end their SEA Games campaign with a 1-2 record. They won their opening match against Malaysia but lost the following day to Myanmar.
Water Polo: Sirens Silenced Anew; Gators Sink To The Bottom
It was another forgettable day for Philippine water polo as the Sirens barely scored in their match against Thailand on their way to a third defeat. The Gators were no better as they were humiliated by defending champions Singapore in their campaign-ending match. They close out the SEA Games with no wins.
Sirens goalkeeper Kunti Tibby had a decent outing producing twelve saves but the problem of the Sirens was their offense. Their lone goal came in the third period, courtesy of Sachi Tibby, where Thailand was not able to score. Outside that period, Thailand produced ten goals to end the game 10-1.
You know it will be a tough night when you’re facing Singapore in water polo. Despite this expectation, the Gators did not expect to be manhandled the way they were. Singapore demonstrated to the Gators how to play good water polo by establishing their defense swiftly, going fast in the counter-attack, flawlessly passing the ball and creating opportunity inside 2-meters. A frustrated Gators squad insisted on taking long shots which the Singapore goalkeeper easily checked. This strategy only netted the team two goals from Reynaldo Salonga and Juan Paolo Serrano. At the final buzzer, the scoreboard displayed 23-2 in favor of Singapore.
With nothing else to lose, the Sirens face Indonesia in their final match. The Gators ended their campaign going home with nothing but learning experiences and international exposure.