THANYABURI, Thailand - After a sizzling start of 6-for-6 on opening day, the PHL-ABAP national boxing team ran into a spate of bad breaks and went 1-5 in the quarterfinals of the Thailand International Boxing Tournament in this quiet district some 50 kilometers north of Bangkok.
Welterweight Joel Bacho, who Tuesday made waves by beating Cuban Arisnoidys Despaigne, averted a shutout for the Philippine team as he demolished Taipei's Huang Zhao Ching, 5-0.
Cagayan de Oro native Carlo Paalam, 18, a bronze medalist in last year's World Youth Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia, had his hands full with Rio Olympics gold medalist and 2016 AIBA Boxer of the Year Dusmatov Hasanboy of Uzbekistan, dropping a 5-0 decision in the 49 kilogram light flyweight division.
Then, 2015 SEA Games gold medalists flyweight Ian Clark Bautista and bantamweight Mario Fernandez had the misfortune of facing boxers from host nation Thailand. Both got the shorter end of those deals with Bautista a victim of a 5-0 decision and Fernandez losing, 4-1.
James Palicte, who a day earlier had a smashing 2nd round TKO victory over Aussie Patrick McLaughlin in the 60 kg lightweight division, succumbed in a unanimous decision against Rio Olympic bronze medalist Akhmadaliev Murodjon, another member of the favored Uzbek team.
Eumir Felix Marcial thought he would be the second Filipino to upset a Cuban in this tournament as he repeatedly scored solid combinations against Osley Iglesias Estrada. The judges however, returned a split decision, 3-2 in favor of Iglesias.
A 24-year-old from Mandaluyong, Bacho will face 2016 World Youth gold medalist Akhmedov Sadriddin in Thursday's semifinal round.
"I know he's good but I gained a lot of confidence with that win over the Cuban. Hopefully, it will carry me to the finals and a possible gold here," declared Bacho.