Asean Para Games first-timer Cendy Asusano captures third gold as PH ups golden haul to 19
Cendy Asusano became one of two Filipino triple gold medalists in the Asean Para Games.

KUALA LUMPUR — Team Philippines rode on golden efforts by thrower Cendy Asusano, swimmer Ernie Gawilan and the chess team spearheaded by Sander Severino to hike its total to 19 mints in the penultimate day of the ninth ASEAN Para Games here.

Asusano, 27, registered a 5.50m to snare the shotput gold for F54, her third after she also won in javelin Monday and discuss throw Thursday, not bad for a Para Games first timer.

Maritess Burce took her second bronze by finishing third with 4.85m.

Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Ngoc bagged the silver with a 5.06m.

The Donsol, Sorsogon native thus made it to elite group of Filipino triple gold medalist alongside teenage sprint phenom Cielo Honasan.

Interestingly, Juanito Mingarine, who is Asusano’s boyfriend and father to their three-year-old daughter Chantal, helped the wheelchair basketball squad that defeated Myanmar, 49-41, for the 5-on-5 division bronze at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).

Marcos Rabasto, Jr., Alfie Cabanog, Rene Macabenguil and Marlon Nacita were the other members of that squad.

It was MIngarine’s second bronze as he, Rabasto, Macabenguil, Cleford Trocino and John Rey Escalante survived Laos, 12-11, to pocket the 3-on-3 bronze the day before.

Gawilan struck gold in the 200m individual medley for SM8 in 2:50.13, ahead of Malaysia’s James Wong Tien Yu and Vietnam’s Dang Van Cong, who ended up with a silver and a bronze in 2:50.98 and 3:20.05, respectively.

It was Gawilan’s second mint on top of a silver and a bronze to help propel the valiant swim team, who is mentored by Tony Ong, to a 3-3-5 (gold-silver-bronze) haul.

After receiving his second gold, Gawilan, who hails from the mounains of Paguibato, Davao del Sur, said he’s happy to make the country proud.

In chess, Severino joined the company of Honasan and Asusano as he captured his third gold after his team of Henry Lopez and Felix Aguilera reigned supreme in the team rapid for the physically impaired by amassing 9.5 points, a point ahead of Indonesia’s Maksum Firdaus, Azhar Panjaitan and Sutikno.

Firdaus and Lopez wound up tied for first in the individual rapid event with 5.5 points each but the former won in tiebreaks, 18.5-18, to steal the gold from the latter, who consoled himself with a silver.

Severino, the individual and team standard double-gold medal winner who finished with four points, consoled himself with a bronze with four points.

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Lopez, a proud son of Davao City, would have sealed the gold had Aguilera pulled the rug from Firdaus.

Surviving Firdaus’ sacrificial attack, Aguilera was on the verge of pulling off a shock win but he missed the winning rook move and crumbled under deep time pressure to allow Firdaus to escape with a win and eventually the gold.

Chess thus wound up with four golds, two short of the country’s six-gold haul in Singapore.

With a day to go, the Phl now has 19 golds, which eclipsed the 16 the country plucked the last time out.

Indonesia had virtually clinched the overall title with a current haul of 96 golds, 55 silvers and 39 bronzes while host Malaysia is at No. 2 with a 78-73-61 (gold-silver-bronze) mark.

Also at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Evaristo Carbonel added a silver in discus throw for F11 with a 26.06m, finishing behind Thai Boonsri Pichai with a 31.41m.

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