Late burst of speed gives Christopher Ulboc a SEAG gold in 3000m steeplechase
Christopher Ulboc celebrates in style on Independence Day. Reuben Terrado

SINGAPORE — Christopher Ulboc ruled the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase behind a fiery finish to hike the Philippines’ gold-medal haul to 24 in the 28th Southeast Asian Games at the National Stadium on Friday.

The 24-year-old Ulboc stepped on the gas after the final jump from the water pit to overtake Pham Tien San in a thrilling finish with a personal-best time of eight minutes and 59.07 seconds.

Ulboc won by 0.83 seconds and celebrated in style, taking off his uniform, kneeling then raising his arms to mark his second straight gold in the SEA Games right on Independence Day.

“Sobrang saya po lalo na’t Independence Day,” said the Armyman. “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga sumuporta.”

"Magandang regalo ‘to sa bansa," he added.

Ulboc was still trailing Indonesia’s Atjoing Tio Purwanto before putting on a burst of speed with Pham. The former Far Eastern University standout then broke free in the final 100m to snare the gold.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports