MELVIN Jakaran and Lloyd Trinidad of Zambales spoiled what had been a Rizal Technological University domination of the PLDT-ABAP National Capital Region-Luzon Area tournament finals after scoring contrasting victories Friday night before a big weekend crowd at the Capitol Grounds in Iba.
Jakaran denied RTU stalwarts a complete sweep of their four finals matches when he outpointed Jovan Krist Solmoro in a closely-contested fight in the 56 kg youth boys bantamweight, 8-7.
But it was Trinidad who scored the most impressive victory out of the nine championship fights, winning via Referee Stopped Contest due to head blows against Alkhuzeem Abdul Aziz of Kabaka in the opening round of their 60 kg. youth boys lightweight match.
The 18-year-old Zambaleno sent his opponent of Saudi Arabian descent down to the canvas with a solid right straight to the kisser. While Abdul Aziz, a fourth-year high school student from Mapua and coached by former Asian Games gold medalist Joan Tipon, managed to beat the standing eight-count, the referee deemed it wise to stop the fight at the 1:26 mark.
“Na-tiyempuhan lang po,” said Trinidad, who said he had scored similar knockout wins eight times in the past.
RTU still emerged with the most number of gold medals with three, including the 46 kg youth boys pinweight title won by Mark Alex Brin.
A nephew of three-time Olympian Romeo Brin, the young RTU fighter whipped Richard Agora of Tayabas, 17-10, in the tournament organized by the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
Porferio Aus Jr. of RTU won 9-5 over Aldrin Tatunay of La Union in the 48 kg. junior boys light-flyweight division.
Stephen Bontoyan then followed it up with a 15-12 decision over Jeric Ferrer in the 52 kg. junior boys light-bantamweight.
Other gold medal winners were Fernel Gaspi of Sorsogon, Jessie Diaz of Tayabas, Ryan Torres of San Fernando City, and Jess Ganayan of Iba.
A nephew of national coach Pat Gaspi, the young Sorsogon bet turned back Aldrin Signar of Tayabas, 12-7, in the 46 kg junior boys pinweight; Diaz accounted for the lone gold of Tayabas out of four finalists with a 14-5 beating of Lawrence Ordonio of San Fernando in the 50 kg. junior boys flyweight; Torres beat Charlie Foster of Sorsogon, 15-3, in the 49 kg youth boys light-flyweight; and Ganayan defeated Jayson Foster also of Sorsogon, 9-6, in the 52 kg youth boys flyweight.
“We thank Abap for choosing Zambales as its venue for the NCR-Luzon area tournament. We see it as a sign that our province is now recognized for its efforts in promoting boxing as a sports,” said Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr in a statement made through sports coordinator Eric Magat.
Abap Mandaluyong chapter president JJ Vargas and executive director Ed Picson led the awarding of medals to the winners, who along with the qualifiers from the regional competitions in Visayas and Mindanao will battle in the National Championship set Feb. 17-23 in Maasin, Southern Leyte.