GUIYANG, China – The PLDT-ABAP national boxing team comes home Saturday afternoon from the prestigious China Open at the Guizhou gym with a medal haul of one gold, two silvers and one bronze.
Five-foot-three Nesthy Petecio finally broke out of her shell after several near-misses with a scintillating victory over 5-foot-11 New Zealand fighter Alexis Pritchard.
The Kiwi initially tried to use her long reach to keep Petecio at bay, but the dusky 21 year old from Davao took some risks and waded into enemy territory to unleash her weapons – a vast array of hooks, straights, and uppercuts.
The three judges gave her a unanimous 3-0 verdict in their 60 kg. lightweight championship match.
Chinese boxer Xu Shiqi, meanwhile, exacted revenge from her conqueror in the world championships last year by defeating Josie Gabuco with an identical 3-0 decision. Xu however, had to resort to some crafty clinching and wrestling tactics to prevent Gabuco from delivering her punches.
The 26-year-old from Palawan, who earlier felled to London Olympics silver medalist and 3-time world champion Ren Cancan settled for silver.
The other silver medal came from the Air Force’s Junel Cantancio, 27, who lived up to his reputation as a punching machine. But he took more than he gave from power- punching Viacheslav Supinov of Russia to absorb a 3-0 defeat.
The bronze came from London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, who lost in the semis Thursday.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas sent a congratulatory message to the team, saying he is "proud of our boxers' achievements in a tough tournament such as the China Open."
The host country led the gold medal harvest with seven, Kazakhstan had two, Russia two, Mongolia and the Philippines had one each. New Zealand had two silvers, while India had one second-placer. Only Mauritius did not have a podium finish.
Other team members were Roldan Boncales (flyweight), Nico Magliquian (bantamweight), and Dennis Galvan (light welterweight)
Coaches were Pat Gaspi, Roel Velasco and Elias Recaido Jr.
Delegation head was ABAP executive director Ed Picson, while the women had AIBA international technical official (ITO) Karina Picson as team manager.
Team referee-judge was AIBA international R&J Ludy Therese Ceriales of Misamis Oriental.