REYMAR Brillo of Sultan Kudarat sent Zaldy Ricopuerto of Malungon, Saranggani to the canvas in just 14 seconds in the preliminary round of the Philippine Sports Commission-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup at the Robinsons Place in General Santos City.
“Sabi ni coach kung makaya mo i-knockout, knockout mo na,” said Brillo, who progressed to the Mindanao quarterfinals in February in Kidapawan City with eight other boxers.
The 18-year-old Brillo started boxing when he was nine years old and says he has fought almost 100 bouts and that he has been offered to turn professional.
“Pag-iisipan ko po ng husto. Sa ngayon, training po muna,” said Brillo.
Coach Jimmy Cubay, who trains Brillo in the Sultan Kudarat team for the past two years, is confident his boxer can fight for flag and country in international competitions.
“Pag-isipan po namin itong kay Reymar. Wala akong masasabi sa batang ito. May lakas, tapang at mabait pa,” said Cubay, whose protégé Carolyn Calungsod is now a member of the national women’s squad.
The PSC-Pacquiao Cup is a joint undertaking between the government sports agency and Senator Manny Pacquiao that hopes to find talents that can be endorsed to the national pool.
In coordination with the Philippine Sports Institute and the Amateur Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, the qualifying rounds are set until April 7 in different parts of the country.
James Errol Gahaton (44-46kg youth boys) of Barangay Labangal, General Santos City also advanced to the quarterfinals along with Ben John Rey Yagahon of Malaybalay City and Jayson Brillo of Sultan Kudarat in the 48kg division.
Also making it to the quarters were Ariel Almamento of General Santos, Jake Sone Saludar of Polomolok, South Cotabato in the 46-49kg; Acreboy Baranggan of Aglayan, General Santos, John Igancius Macas of Cagayan de Oro and Gen San’s Criz Sander Laurente in the 52kg division.
The preliminary rounds for the national finals are set April 14 and 15 in Mandaluyong City followed by the quarterfinals on April 21 and 22 in Bohol. The semifinals will be held in Tagum City in Davao del Norte on April 28 and the event returns to General Santos City for the finals on May 5.