Philippine boxing team campaigners Gerson Nietes of Bacolod City and Ian Clark Bautista of Himamaylan City were at the Panaad Stadium yesterday to watch the boxing competition among aspiring pugs from the different local government units in the province.
The two young boxers, who have impressed the leaders of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines with their skills, are in the city for a two-week break from training. Both remember the days when they were representing their hometowns in the Panaad inter-LGU tournament.
Seventeen-year-old Bautista, who captured the interest of the amateur boxing world with his stunning victory against European Cup champion Alexander Samoylov of Russia in the President’s Cup in Indonesia last year, said the Panaad competition helped him hone his skills.
Nietes, 20, said it has always been a source of pride for him and his family to win in the inter-LGU competition. His cousins from Murcia continue the tradition and are seeing action in this year’s tournament.
Both Nietes and Bautista, won medals for the province in the Palarong Pambansa and are products of the Negros’ grassroots development program in sports.
As they watched the boxers fight yesterday, Nietes said he saw the determination in their faces and he hopes that, like them, the local boxers will be given the chance to join the national team.
Bautista, on the other hand, stressed that training and more tournaments are what the boxers from the province need to toughen up and further develop their talents.
Meanwhile, athletics competition in the 2012 Panaad sa Negros Sports Festival continued yesterday with Jerick Tabanao of Victorias City grabbing the gold in boys’ Under 13 110m hurdles, and bronze in boys’ Under 13 200 meters.
John Rey Limco and Johnedel Craste of Murcai, placed second and third behind Tabanao in the hurdles’ event, while Carlos Gabriel Casto topped the Under 13 boys’ 200m with Rey Mahilum of Escalante setting for the silver.
Murcia’s Angelica Magbanua grabbed the gold in girls Under 13 200m, beating Cadiz City’s Geraldine Hulleza and Nove Mae Villamero of Escalante.
It was a 1-2 finish for Victorias in Under 17 girls’ 200m with Rica Mae and Jerry Mae Dela Cruz taking the gold and silver. Mary Ann Aguilar of Bacolod Team A completed the top three runners in the event.
In boys’ Under 17 200m, Jeffer Sitiota of Bago won the gold, Christian Martinez of Victorias, silver, and Joshua Saylo of Bacolod – A, bronze.
The 2012 Panaad sa Negros sports festival is organized by the Provincial Sports Office under the leadership of Executive Assistant to the Governor for Sports, Angel Verdeflor.*NAB
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