KUALA LUMPUR - The 29th Southeast Asian Games came to a close on Wednesday with the Philippines finishing with a disappointing output of 24 golds, 33 silvers, and 64 bronzes, only five golds better than the worst showing of 19 golds in the 1999 edition in Brunei.
While the output was short of the previous two SEA Games gold haul of 29 and less than half of the medal projections of Philippine sports officials, there are still athletes who put on a strong showing in this year's biennial meet before it moves to the Philippines in 2019.
While some were also expected gold medals from sports such as basketball, boxing, and athletics, there are also those who were pleasant surprises in adding to the medal coffers of the country.
Here are some of the biggest booms in the Philippines' campaign in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Kim Mangrobang and Nikko Huelgas swept the gold medals in triathlon, but what made their showing impressive was that it was a 1-2 finish as Claire Adorna and John Chicano wound up with silver medal victories.
Coming off a 1-1-2 mark in 2015, the Philippine gymnastics wound up with a 2-1-3 output with Kaitlin De Guzman being the most bemedalled gymnast with a 1-1-1 mark. Reyland Capellan also won a gold in this sport that could be a big source of medals for the Philippines in the future.
After six years, fencing was able to tab a gold medal courtesy of Brennan Wayne Louie. Also the best part of the Philippine fencing campaign in the SEA Games is that the medalist, particularly, silver medalist Samantha Catantan and bronze winner Maxine Esteban are still in their teens.
The entry of Fil-Japanese judokas in the national team bore fruit with Kiyomi Watanabe and teenager Mariya Takahashi coming up with two gold medals while three other bronze medalists also stepped up to improve on their 1-0-2 output in Singapore two years ago.
The Philippines made history after becoming the first nation to win the first edition of the ice hockey competitions of the SEA Games, beating Thailand in the gold medal match. It was also a big revelation for the team that prior to the SEA Games had two of the players having their eligibility to play for the Philippines questioned.
Squash may have not won a gold medal but the team was able to collect two silvers and six bronzes, a first for the Philippines to win such number of medals. In the men's team event, the Philippine squad finished with a silver, highlighted by a win over powerhouse host Malaysia in the semifinals.
While there were revelations, there were also disappointments as they either unable to meet the expectations of sports observers due to varying reasons, or remained struggling in the SEA Games front.
The Philippines remained unable to collect gold medals in this medal-rich sport. It also dropped from a 0-2-11 medal haul in 2015 to a 0-2-5 collection in Kuala Lumpur.
Another medal-rich sport, shooting only came up with one bronze following an impressive 1-1-3 performance in Singapore two years ago.
The women's events were scrapped, which led to Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz missing out on the chance to compete for SEAG gold. As the only Filipino weightlifter, Nestor Colonia, however, finished just fifth after suffering a knee injury in his training.
What was also seen as a sure gold in the SEA Games due to their recent performance in the Asian region, the reigning champion Volcanoes didn't land a podium finish, while also losing their final two matches that could have salvaged their campaign in the biennial meet.
A sport that was once ruled by the Filipinos, the PH bowling team is still struggling on the international front as it only landed a bronze medal with national coach and legend Paeng Nepomuceno at the helm.
The reigning champion in the time trial event, Marella Salamat's chances of obtaining a gold in a different event was doomed from the start being the only Pinay in the women's massed start on a sport where teamwork is also essential.