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SEA Games: Hopes of reaching gold target fading fast for PH

by August 25, 2017 General
Janrey Ubas of the Philippines reacts after completing his bronze-worthy attempt in men’s long jump in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur late Thursday night. On Friday, the Philippines added 5 more bronze to go with 3 silver medals on a gold-less day. PSC/POC Pool

After a gold rush in the past four days, the Philippines cooled off in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, collecting seven medals overall but none of them mints.

If the Filipinos can’t produce a title again on Saturday, when the highly touted taekwondo and judo teams see action, the country will be hard-pressed to meet, much less come close to, the 50-gold target that national sports officials predicted the entire Philippine contingent would win.

Trenten Beram and Eric Cray couldn’t translate their individual victories on the track into a team title, when the Philippines took home the bronze in the 4 x 100-meter relay, the same result achieved by the women’s squad.

Beram is poised to finish these Games as the best Filipino athlete, having pocketed the gold in the men’s 200 and 400 meters on top of the relay bronze.

Besides the relay bronze, Cray won gold in the 400-meter hurdles and silver in the 100 meters.

The day’s other bronze medalists were Melvin Calano (men’s javelin throw), Marestella Sunang (women’s long jump), and tennis players Katharina Lehnert and Denise Dy (women’s doubles).

James Deiparine, a Filipino who resides in Washington, secured the silver in the 100-meter breaststroke. Indonesia won the gold, while Thailand earned the bronze.

Deiparine, whose mother hails from Angeles City, Pampanga, holds the national record in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke. His time of 1 minute and 2.11 seconds in Kuala Lumpur is 11-tenths of a second slower than his personal best in the 100 breaststroke.

In tennis, Ruben Gonzales and Francis Casey Alcantara lost 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 to a Thailand pair for a silver medal in men’s doubles.

In lawn bowls, Rosita Bradborn, Vilma Greenlees, and Hazel Jagonoy fell 19-11 to Malaysia in women’s triples.

At the end of the day, the Philippines picked up 3 silver and 5 bronze medals for an overall gold-silver-bronze tally of 15-21-36 for a total 72 medals.

The Filipinos currently sit sixth in the medal standings.

If the martial artists and Gilas Pilipinas take care of business and deliver on their promise Saturday, that’ll surely help the Filipinos’ cause.

Taekwondo coach Dindo Simpao said his team’s goal is to match the 3-3-2 gold-silver-bronze output from the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, while the judo squad’s target is to win two titles.

In basketball, the Philippines will take on Indonesia in the gold medal game featuring the top 2 teams in the region. The final is set at 8 p.m. 

Gilas defeated a scrappy Singaporean side 68-60 in the semifinals on Friday to advance.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.