Taekwondo, boxing deliver 1-2 punch as MVPSF-supported sports rake 78 medals in SEA Games

Taekwondo and boxing proved why they are a powerful combination in the Pinoys’ onslaught in the recent Southeast Asian Games as the two sports sparked a productive campaign for the Philippine athletes, allowing the country to win the overall championship.  

The Philippines won the overall championship, this after the Pinoy athletes produced 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals, their best ever output in the history of the Games.

For the MVP Sports Foundation, the teams from taekwondo and boxing had become the group’s 1-2 punch, allowing them to garner 78 medals — 35 gold, 29 silver and 14 bronze medals to be exact.

Taekwondo picked up eight gold medals, the most among the sports being supported by the MVPSF, as the country’s poomsae were able to pocket four gold medals courtesy of Jeordan Dominguez (freestyle individual for men), Rodolfo Reyes Jr. (recognized individual men), Joel Lyn Ninobla (recognized individual female), and team of Dustin Jacob Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella, and Reyes Jr. (recognized team male).

Four silver medals were claimed by Janna Dominique Oliva (freestyle individual female), the team of Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Marvin Mon, Patrick King Perez, Darius Venerable and Oliva (freestyle mixed team), the trio of Rinna Babanto, Aidaine Krishia Laxa, Jocel Lyn Ninobla (recognized team female), and the duo of Dustin Mella and Rinna Babanto (recognized mixed pair).

Taekwondo’s kyorugi unit were likewise productive as Kurt Barbaso (men’s finweight), Dave Cea (men’s lightweight), Pauline Lopez (women’s featherweight), and Samuel Morrison (men’s welterweight) all delivered a golden finish.

Winning seven gold medals in the SEA Games, the Philippine boxing team has become one of the most productive sports for the MVPSF and lived up to its billing as a medal-rich sport.

Bannering our side with gold medals were Josie Gabuco (Women’s Light Flyweight), Nesthy Petecio (Women’s Featherweight), Carlo Paalam (Men’s Light Flyweight), Rogen Ladon (Men’s Flyweight), Charly Suarez (Men’s Lightweight), James Palicte (Men’s Light Welterweight), and Eumir Marcial (Men’s Welterweight).

Finishing silver were Irish Magno (Women’s Flyweight), Aira Villegas (Women’s Bantamweight), and Marjon Piañar (Men’s Welterweight), while Ian Clark Bautista (Men’s Bantamweight) took bronze.

A total of six gold medals  were captured by our bets from skateboarding with 2018 Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal winning gold in both the Women’s Street and Game of Skate Events. Four other gold medals were won by Christiana Means (Women’s Park) Jericho Francisco Jr. (Men’s Park), Daniel Ledermann (Men’s Game of Skate), and Jaime de Lange (Men’s Downhill).

Means also took two silvers in Women’s Game of Skate and Women’s Street while Renzo Mark Feliciano (Men’s Street) and Duke Pandeagua (Men’s Downhill) won our last two silvers. Rydelle Abarico took our solitary Bronze in Women’s Downhill.

Then, there’s a rare sweep by basketball, which ruled all the events lined up both in the 3 x 3 and 5-on-5 events.

CJ Perez, Jason Perkins, Chris Newsome, and Mo Tautaa went undefeated enroute to the men’s 3 x 3 gold while Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Janine Pontejos avenged their early loss to Thailand with a 17-13 win over the Thais in the finals.

Both our men’s and women’s 5 x 5 teams defeated their Thai counterparts in their respective final matches to clinch the gold. The Men’s 5 x 5 was composed of Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Vic Manuel, Greg Slaughter, Stanley Pringle, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Chris Ross, LA Tenorio, Christian Standhardinger, and Matthew Wright.

The women’s 5 x 5 team completed a historic feat and gave the country its first gold medal finish in the SEA Games. The members of the squad are Afril Bernardino, Danica Jose. Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Khate Castillo, Kelli Hayes, Chack Cabinbin, Ria Nabalan, Eunique Chan, Andrea Tongco, and Mar Prado.

Cycling also provided an exciting finish for our countrymen as it pocketed three gold, four silver and four bronzes.

The Philippines had a 1-2 finish in Men’s Downhill with John Derrick Farr taking gold and Eleazar Barba Jr. with the silver. Jermyn Prado took home the gold, winning the Women’s Time Trial then silver in the Women’s Road Race while Lea Denise Beligra struck the gold in the Women’s Downhill.

Men’s Cross Country saw a 2-3 finish by Nino Surban (Silver) and Edmhel John Flores (Bronze). Daniel Caluag was also able to rally back for a Silver in the BMX Men’s Race. Bronze medals were won by Avegail Roman in Women’s Cross Country, our Men’s Team Trial quartet (John Mark Camingao, Jan Paul Morales, Ronald Oranza and George Oconer) as well as our Men’s Road Race Team (Jonel Carcueva, El Joshua Carino, Marcelo Felipe, Ismael Grospe Jr., and Jun Rey Navarra).

Also taking center stage were Olympians Carlos Yulo and Heidylyn Diaz.

Yulo, who recently won the World Gymnastics Championship in Germany, grabbed two gold medals in the SEA Games. He ruled the all-around and floor exercise then ended up with a silver medal in five different events — the pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bars.

Diaz won one of the two gold medals secured by weightlifting as the 2016 Olympics silver medalist dominated the 55-kg event for women’s.  Her teammate, Kristen Macrohon, also bagged a gold in the 71-kg. for women.

Finishing with a silver each were Margaret Colonia (women’s 59-kg.), Eileen Ann Ando (women’s 64-kg.), John Fabuar Ceniza (men’s 55-kg.). Mary Flor Diaz (women’s 45-kg.) and Nestor Colonia (men’s 67-kg), settled for a bronze medal finish.

Golf also came up with two golden finishes, reigning Asian Games gold medalist Bianca Pagdanganan stamped her class in the women’s individual then teamed up with Lois Kaye Go and Abegail Arevalo to rule the women’s team gold medal. The trio of Sean Ramos, Aidric Chan and Luis Castro also made it to the podium by winning the bronze.

The Philippine rugby team also ruled the field and in the finals, the Filipinos were able to give Malaysia a sound beating, 19-0. The women’s team settled for silver.

Composing the men’s team are Tommy Gregory Gilbert, Donald Canon Coleman, Robert Luceno Fogetry, Justin Villager Coveney, Timothy Alonso Berry, Joe Palabay Dawson, Luc Villaba Smith, Ryan Reyes Howe, Patrice Ortiz Olivier, Vincent Amor Young, Ned Plarizan Stephenson and Harry Dionson Morris.

The women’s team is comprised of Ada Milby, Sylvia Tudoc, Jacqueline Rodriguez, Patronicia Duffy, Erica Legaspi, Aiumi Ono, Helena Indigne, Aldee Denluyo, Nicole Kovanen, Agot Danton, Rassiel Sales, and Anna Beatrix Pacis.

The Foundation sees this level of success on the regional stage as a positive step towards higher level international competitions as it looks towards its ultimate goal of giving the Philippines its first taste of Olympic Gold, especially with Tokyo 2020 Olympics only months away.

“The MVP Sports Foundation will not cease on its support of the Filipino athlete and the Philippines’ unrelenting quest to finally get an Olympic gold medal,” said MVPSF president Al Panlilio. “We’re proud to have played a part in the success of select Filipino athletes in the Southeast Asian Games as the different programs getting support from the MVPSF garnered 78 medals, 35 of which were gold.”

“As seen in the SEA Games, sport truly has the uncanny power of uniting us Filipinos and it is this idea that powers us in the MVPSF. We want to invest on nation-building through discovering and developing new heroes that the younger generation could look up to as they also strive to be the best individuals they could be. We’re proud of the achievements of all Filipino athletes but we can’t stop here. We will use this momentum to try and get even more Filipinos to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

MVPSF believes that the 2019 SEA Games also served as an introduction for several of our national athletes to the general Filipino public, who were able to watch their talents on display first-hand.

“The best thing about winning 35 golds out of the 78 medals from athletes that MVPSF supported is that a lot of our champions are strong Olympic hopefuls,” said Ryan Gregorio, the foundation’s executive director. “We’re proud of every athlete we supported and we’re hopeful for those who can carry our flag in Tokyo,” he added.