Regalado, Tsukii Add 2 More Bronzes to PH Coffers
JAKARTA—Martial artists Cherry May Regalado and Junna Tsukii dropped two bronze medals to the Philippine coffers and the men’s basketball team was thrown out of the window by South Korea on Monday in the 18th Asian Games.
Cherry May Regalado and Junna Tsukii clinched third-place finishes in pencak silat and karatedo, respectively, to raise the country’s bronze medal haul to 12 and prove Filipino female athletes could deliver better than the males in the Games that entered its second week with China looking unreachable from atop the medal standings/
Regalado shook off the stigma of a medal-less campaign in last year’s Malaysia Southeast Asian Games by scoring 444 points in women’s seri singles, a mere one point off Singapore’s Nurzuhairah Mohammad Yazid (445), who clinched silver.
Indonesia’s Puspa Arumsasi won the gold with 467 points in the sport played at the Padepokan Pencak Silat TM III Hall.
Tsukii, on the other hand, exacted revenge over Paweena Raksachart of Thailand in women’s Kumite -50 kgs of karatedo at the Jakarta Convention Center.
The 27-year-old Filipino-Japanese Tsukii scored four yuko (direct hit) as against one by Raksachart in the two-minute match to claim her first Asian Games medal and the 12th for the Philippine delegation with six more days of competition.
“She defeated me last year in the SEA Games so I wanted revenge,” Tsukii said.
Regalado missed the podium at last year’s Malaysia SEA Games in the same event, a loss that she admitted was a bitter pill to swallow.
But instead of sulking, she got herself back in harness. “Hindi ko napigilan ang pag-iyak noon sa SEA Games kasi po alam ko na makakamedal ako,” the 23-year-old Nutrition graduate at the Aklan State University in Banga said. “
Men’s basketball? The Philippines’ kissed its medal hopes alive in the sport Filipinos love most after the Koreans dealt the Jordan Clarkson-led team a 91-82 beating.
“It’s my fault, I take responsibility for this loss,” said head coach Yeng Guiao, whose wards could not handle the Koreans’ long bombs, former PBA import now their naturalized player Ricardo Ratliffe and their zone defense.
Thus, the best the Filipino dribblers could muster at these Games is fifth place in the consolation round.
“We’ll definitely go for No. 5,” vowed Guaiao, who after losing a chance at the podium, would be trying to improve on the seventh-place finish the Chot Reyes-coached Gilas Pilipinas achieved in Incheon four years ago.
Boxing provided a ray of hope when Carlos Paalam fought with the savvy of a potential medalist, beating Chinese Taipei’s Tu Powei in a men’s light flyweight fight at the Jakarta International Expo.
The 20-year-old Paalam, a pride of San Isidro in Bulkidnon, dominated all three rounds to advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals where he will face Temirtas Zhussupov of Kazakshtan.
Flyweight Rogen Ladon already advanced to the quarterfinals to keep the country’s hopes in boxing afloat after five of his teammates crashed out in the last three days— James Palicte, Joel Bacho, Neshty Petecio, Mario Fernandez and Irish Magno.
Two-time Southeast Asian Games champion Eumir Felix Marcial battled untested Nh Kuok Kun of Macau late Monday night.
There was another disappointment on the track of Gelora Bung Karko Main Stadium also Monday night when Eric Shawn Cray could only place seventh in the finals of the men’s 400m hurdles.
Cray was the oldest in the field at 29 and struggled home in 51.53, numbers that paled in comparison to the 50.54 he chalked up in the semifinals.
The top five finishers of the 400m hurdles all broke the 50-second barrier, highlighted by the Games record run of Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba (47.66) that obliterated the 16-year-old mark of 48.42 by Al Somaily Has in the 2002 Busan Games.
India’s Dharun Ayyasamy clocked 48.96 to bag silver, while Japan’s Abe Takatoshi ranked third with 49.12.
Cray, the 400m hurdles champion in the Myanmar (2013) and Singapore (2015) SEA Games, will again try his luck in the 4x100 with Anfernee Lopena, Clayton Bautista and Trenten Beram on Thursday.