MARK Anthony Barriga assured himself of at least a bronze medal but not before some anxious moments in his men’s light flyweight bout in the 27th Southeast Asian Games on Tuesday at the Wanna Theikdi Stadium in Naypyitaw.
The 2012 London Olympian scored a split decision against Vietnam’s Huynh Ngoc Tan and advance to the semifinals, joining several other Filipino pugs who are already assured of a medal finish in the biennial meet.
But Barriga, fighting a bit sluggish, needed an impressive third round to beat his aggressive Vietnamese opponent.
Barriga admitted he is still suffering from jetlag. He travelled to Myanmar a day after arriving from Italy for a month-long training.
“Inaantok ako, hindi ako makasuntok. Mabigat ang mga paa ko,” Barriga admitted. “Mabuti na lang at naka-una ako nung first round at may natitira pa akong lakas nung third. Kung hindi, baka nadisgrasya pa ako kasi agresibo siya nung second round.”
“Masama ang kondisyon ko, sabi ng mga coaches ko, jetlag daw ito,” Barriga added.
Lightweight Junel Cantancio scored a unanimous decision over Keochi Xayyasone of Laos also on Tuesday, joining light welterweight Dennis Galvan, flyweight Rey Saludar, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, welterweight Wilfredo Lopez, bantamweight Iris Magno, flyweight Maricris Igam, and light flyweight Josie Gabuco in the semifinal round of their respective weight classes.
Featherweight Nesthy Petecio will be going for the gold after a unanimous decision win over Tassamalee Tsongjan of Thailand on Monday.