PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – John Vincent Pangga and Kenneth Dela Pena are left to carry the fight for the Philippines going to the semifinals of the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum here.
Pangga and Dela Pena drubbed their respective opponents in Friday night’s quarterfinals to make up for the exit of Norlan Petecio, elder brother of Asian Women’s Boxing Championship silver medalist Nesthy Petecio.
Dela Pena won by shutout over Soy Selay of India in the pinweight division (44-46 kg), while Pangga scored a Referee Stopped Contest (RSC) in the opening round of his flyweight bout (50 kg) against Saif Alkharoosi of United Arab Emirates.
The two will gun for a finals berth in Sunday’s semifinals of the tournament featuring boxers 15-16 years old and hosted by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
A native of General Santos City, Dela Pena goes up against Chen-Cheng Yu of Chinese-Taipei, while Pangga, a protégé of Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno, will be up against Talgat Syrymbetov of Kazakhstan.
Talgat was impressive in a third round RSC (Referee Stopped Contest) win over Tandin Wangchuk of Bhutan in the quarterfinals, the same with Yu, who stopped Migma Dorji also of Bhutan in round 1 of a similar RSC victory.
Petecio earlier lost to Sherzod Kodirboev of Uzbekistan, 5-0, in the lightweight division (60 kg), to join Criz Russu Laurente in the sidelines.
Laurente, also a General Santos City native fancied as the country’s best bet in this tournament that attracted a total of 18 countries in the region, went down against Makhmud Sabyrkhan of Kazakhstan Thursday night, 4-1, in an abrupt end to his gold medal campaign.
Too bad, his parents even arrived from GenSan to here a day after the loss in a bid to see their son in action.
“Natapat agad kasi siya (Laurente) sa Kazakshtan under the draw. But no excuse there,” said ABAP strength and conditioning coach Mark Limbaga.
Supported by Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, Maynilad, PLDT, Wesing, Meralco, One Foundation, Philippine Airlines, San Miguel Corp., and Hotel Centro Puerto Princesa, the tournament holds its finals on Monday.