PH Asiad surpasses 2014 stint
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
AS I write this piece, sundown of August 30, the 2018 Asian Games Jakarta Palembang, Indonesia is winding up. So far, our nationals have already garnered four gold and 13 bronze medals and upped our position in the overall medal tally to 17th from 19th place.
Our fourth gold medal was won by Cebuana lass Margielyn Didal in women’s street skateboarding. Thank God, our contingent this year managed to surpass our 2014 nightmarish stint in Incheon, South Korea where we only collected one gold, three silver and 11 bronze medals to finish an embarrassing 22nd overall. That was our worst accomplishment since we started to join this Asian quadrennial meet in 1951. Even in our number one favorite sport basketball, our best professional dribblers in 2014 just posted a disgracing seventh place finish. Pardon me, but I will never forget that humiliating game by our country, witnessed by 104 million people, when PH was badly beaten by city-state Singapore and Hong Kong and our neighboring ASEAN countries Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
With our four gold collection from a surprising all-women powerhouse: weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, golfers Bianca Pagdanganan, Yuka Saso, LK Go and our latest, Didal, we broke our 2014 dismal record and equaled our feat in 1951 New Delhi Asiad earning five golds.
Yes, it’s a very different story this time, that after first five days of not so inspiring performance of our PH team, our nationals went full throttle in the second week and already duplicated our four gold harvests in 1978 Bangkok, 1986 Seoul and 2006 Doha Asiads. Like in the past, our other major hopes were in boxing with three (out of eight) of our pugilists namely Rogen Ladon (flyweight), Carlos Paalam (light flyweight) and Eumir Felix Marcial (middleweight) were in the semifinals and assured of at least a bronze medal each. A win would have propelled them to a gold hunt and guaranteed them at least a silver medal apiece. (So far our squash, equestrian and bridge teams are still in contention for a podium finish).
Let’s just wait and see.
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The four-month long 2nd Pangasinan LGU Unity Games 2018 featuring women’s volleyball and men’s basketball is another successful project of our sports-minded provincial chief executive Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III. The twin tournaments under the auspices of Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSDMC) with executive director Modesto Operania and deputy Marlon Domalanta calling the shots, is now at the homestretch with Bayambang defeating Rosales for third place in Division 1 and Sison thumping Infanta for third honor in Division II, both via knockout games staged at NRSCC gym in Lingayen on August 30. The best-of-three championship battles between Division 1 finalists Alaminos City and Sta. Barbara and Division II title battlers Burgos and Aguilar are being conducted at press time.
Divisions I and II basketball championships both to be played in best-of-three series will be held on August 31, also at NRSCC gym. My kudos to all of you guys at PSDMC headed by Gov. Pogi.
See you there.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God. JEREMIAH 2: 22
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