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    Zambales rolls out red carpet for top boxers

    Jan 22, 2013

    IBA – Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. will be on hand to welcomeofficials and participants from boxing clubs in the region when the PLDT-ABAP National Capital Region-Luzon Area tournament kicks off on Wednesday at the capitol grounds here.

    Among the early arrivals are the delegations from Tayabas, Rizal Technological University, Urdaneta, Laguna, Lucena, and Olongapo.

    “The NCR-Luzon tourney is the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines’ way of energizing the sport in this part of the country to help it be at par in interest and production with the Visayas and Mindanao,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas.

    The winners here, along with the qualifiers from the other regional competitions – Bago City (Visayas) and General Santos City (Mindanao) - will advance to the national championship set on February 17-23 in Maasin, Southern Leyte.

    “We are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the success of this tournament,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson.

    “And Gov. Ebdane’s wholehearted support, along with that of his gubernatorial staff and the people of Iba, will come a long way in making this happen.”

    “We welcome all boxers and their coaches and trainers to our beloved province,” said Ebdane, a former PNP chief and secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

    “This is our small way of contributing to ABAP’s grassroots development program and overall effort to produce the country’s first Olympic gold medalist,” Ebdane added.

    Notable products of ABAP’s grassroots development program are London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, 2011 World Junior champion Eumir Felix Marcial, World Series campaigner Charly Suarez, and World Youth bronzer medalist Jade Bornea.

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    "We are picking up from where we left off,” said Vargas. “We’re starting the year with a bang. We’re seeing to it that our program is active and robust, leading up to the major tournament of the year, the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar this November.”

    The RP boxers are also gearing up for a much earlier challenge: the Asian Youth Boxing Championship from March 10-17 in Subic with 20 to 25 countries participating.

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