Cagers, golfers keep PH's medal hopes alive
NANJING – The Philippines delivered the good news in basketball and golf but didn’t find the target in shooting on a hot and busy Sunday for the Filipinos in the second Asian Youth Games here.
The 3-on-3 team of George Isaac Go, Patrick Ramirez and Andrei Caracut, formed at the last minute after the original choices begged off because of their studies, won twice late Saturday.
They scored a close 10-8 win over Indonesia and returned to the rubber courts of Wutaishan to scrape past Saudi Arabia, 14-10, despite being one man short in the last 2:44 of the game.
The Pinoy dribblers don’t have a fourth man or a substitute and were left with only two players on the court after Ramirez fouled out with 2:44 left and his team barely ahead, 10-8.
But Go and Caracut held their ground to put the Philippines in a match with Maldives. If they win a third straight match, they might face mighty Iran in the quarterfinals.
“In the quarterfinals everything gets tougher for our players,” said head coach Nic Jorge in anticipation of the possible matchup against tougher and taller teams like South Korea and China.
And in golf, the Philippines lived up to high expectations.
Mia Legaspi led the first round with a six-under-par 66 while teammate Princess Superal was in a three-way tie for second with Taipei’s Cheng Su-Chia and Thailand’s Sangchan Supamas with a 69.
In boys’ competition, Gabriel Tomas Manotoc carried the fight for the Philippines with an opening 72 for a tie for sixth and eight strokes off the leader – Taipei’s Yu Chung-an. Rupert Zaragosa is at 13th with a 76.
“We always had high hopes for golf,” said Philippine chef-de-mission Tac Padilla.
The sad news for the day came when Amparo Acuna didn’t get to the medal rounds of the girls’ 10m air rifle after firing 460 points, which was a marked improvement from her previous best of 399.
Acuna finished 12th in a strong field of 39 shooters. China’s He Chi-Chao took the gold, South Korea’s Kim Je Hee the silver and Singapore’s Martina Lindsay Veloso, who has Filipino blood, won the bronze.
In badminton, second seed Mark Alcala sailed into the quarterfinals of the boys’ singles with an easy 21-9, 21-11 win over Cambodia’s Cheng Perak. Up next for the Filipino top player is an opponent from either Hong Kong or Iraq.
Alcala is also expected to cruise past his next match but may face a tougher player from Indonesia in the semifinals.
In table tennis, Emy Rose Dael, the only Fiipino to advance to the second round, lost to North Korea’s Jimju Kim, 11-3, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6.
The Philippine team in the seven-a-side rugby took their second straight loss. After a 57-0 defeat against Hong Kong the other night, they suffered a 45-nil defeat against host China.
The Philippine campaign resumes today with the 100m dash for girls featuring Fil-American twins Kayla and Kyla Richardson. The swimmers will also plunge into action with Arriane Herranz and Roxanne Yu in the girls’ 100m backstroke.
Shooter Celdon Arellano competes in the boys’ 10m air rifle, judo’s Renzo Cazenas in the 81 kg and weightlifters Margaret Colonia and Marlo Llena in the girls’ 53 kg and boys’ 69 kg.
Alcala and Eleanor Inlayo resume their bid in mixed doubles while fencers Divine Romero and Christian Concepcion see action in the foil and saber events.