MANILA, Philippines – Gold medals from boxing and basketball sealed the Philippines’ top-four finish in the medal table of the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam on Sunday, May 22.
Gilas Women and boxers Eumir Marcial, Rogen Ladon, and Ian Clark Bautista all delivered as the Philippines wrapped up its campaign with 51 golds. (UPDATE: PH ends SEA Games with 52 golds as Phillip Delarmino rules after protest)
Except for its overall championships when it hosted the SEA Games in 2005 and 2019, the Philippines breached the 50-gold mark for the first time since the 1993 edition, where it bagged 57 golds for third place.
Also barring its past two SEA Games hosting, the Philippines notched its highest finish since 2003, when it ranked fourth in the medal tally. (MEDAL TALLY: 31st SEA Games)
Gilas Women fell short of a tournament sweep after a heartbreaking 93-96 loss to Malaysia but still defended the breakthrough gold they won in the 2019 SEA Games.
Finishing with identical 4-1 records in the round-robin women’s basketball tiff, the Philippines beat out Indonesia for the gold by virtue of the Filipinas’ 93-77 romp of the Indonesians earlier.
One of the Philippines’ gold mines in the previous SEA Games, the national boxing team produced as expected, with one-third of its nine-man delegation striking gold.
Marcial (men’s -75kg) annihilated Timor Leste’s Delio Anzaqeci Mouzinho, Ladon (men’s -52kg) edged Vietnam’s Tran Van Thao, while Bautista (men’s -57kg) thwarted Myanmar’s Naing Latt in their respective finals.
Irish Magno (women’s -51kg) snagged silver after losing to Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam.
It would have been 52 golds for the country if not for Gilas Pilipinas’ shocking 81-85 loss to Indonesia that snapped the Philippines’ decades-long reign in SEA Games men’s basketball.
Eyeing a 14th straight gold, the Filipinos got outgunned by a determined Indonesian side reinforced by former NBA player Marques Bolden of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Indonesia went unbeaten for a perfect 6-0 card, while Gilas Pilipinas ended its Vietnam stint with a 5-1 slate to settle for silver for the first time since 1989.
More silvers were won in esports as Sibol finished as runner-up in CrossFire and League of Legends.
The Philippines’ other silvers of the day came from muay thai fighter Philip Delarmino (men’s 57kg) and shooter Hagen Topacio (men’s trap).
Aerobic gymnast Charmaine Dolar (women’s individual), shooter Carlos Carag (men’s trap), and vovinam athlete Zephania Ngaya (women’s 60kg) all bagged bronze.
The Philippines also won bronzes in fin swimming courtesy of Romina Rafaelle Gavino, Raissa Regatta Eugenie Gavino, Marjorie Denise Manguiat, and Sam Andrei Doragos (women’s relay 4x100m surface) and in judo courtesy of Keisei Nakano, John Viron Ferrer, Carl Dave Aseneta, Rena Furukawa, Dylwynn Keith Gimena, and Megumi Kurayoshi (mixed). – Rappler.com