CAGAYAN de Oro – The host city solidified its drive to be the top team in the 2013 PLDT ABAP Mindanao Boxing Tournament by having nine finalists in the 13 weight divisions being disputed in the five-day tournament at the Tourism Hall here.
Jeronel Borres, a gold medal winner in the 2012 National Championships while competing in the Junior Boys class, moved a win away from clinching another mint as he disposed of Gedeon America by unanimous decision in the Youth Boys pinweight.
A member of CDO-Team A, Borres will take on Renemark Cuarto of Pacman, Sarangani Province, a unanimous decision winner over Efren Gumban of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
Other members of Team A who made it to the gold medal bout were Carlo Paalam (Junior Boys pinweight), Isagani Llaban (Youth Boys light flyweight), Markwil Salvana (Youth Boys lightweight), Shena Mae Jacinto (Junior Girls light flyweight), and Judelyn Casin (Junior Girls flyweight).
Refusing to be outdone were boxers from CDO-Team B as Mark Lumbad (Junior Boys light flyweight), Lorenz Labrada (Junior Boys light bantamweight), and Sugar Ray Ocana (Junior Boys bantamweight) also made it to the championship round.
“Maliban kay Borres, ang ibang boxers namin ay halos mga baguhan. Pero hindi naman nakakapagtaka na nasa Finals sila dahil talagang pinag-handaan namin ito para hindi mapahiya sa number one supporter namin na si Mayor Oscar Moreno,” said Elmer Pamisa, a national youth coach who is also the mentor of the host City since 2010.
Team Pacman, which is being supported by People’s Champion and current Sarangani Province Congressman Manny Pacquiao, made heads turn with four boxers in the Finals.
Joining Cuarto are Bonie Lamberte (Junior Boys flyweight), Lanie Mingullian (Junior Girls pinweight), and Joan Sumilhig (Junior Girls flyweight).
Local club team Mindy’s has sent three boxers to the championship round, while Gingoog City, Valencia City, Manolo Fortich from Bukidnon, Villanueva at Balingasag from Misamis Oriental, General Santos City, Aglayan from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lutayan from Sultan Kudarat and MP Boxing Association have qualified one finalist each.
The tournament organized by ABAP and supported by PLDT and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), drew 14 teams and 86 boxers.
If there is a positive sign that boxing has gained more ground in this region, it is the fact that all competing teams will be bringing home medals.
Cabadbadan, Bukidnon and Calinan, Davao completes the cast and managed to secure three and one bronze medals.