Basketball may have been scrapped in this year's 25th Southeast Asian Games, but our other national athletes deserve no less cheers. [firstpara] We're sending a powerhouse cast in billiards, the female Manny Pacquiao in boxing and Asia's best in long jump to the games. So flash your Pinoy pride when the 10-day biennial meet kicks off on December 9 in Vientiane, Laos.
Stay tuned to this spot as we run a two-day rundown on the sports the Philippines will most likely dominate! And so we begin with...
With world champions Efren “Bata” Reyes, Alex Pagulayan, Ronnie Alcano and Rubilen Amit at the helm, there's a sure gold coming from the Philippine billiards and snooker team.
The legendary Bata has regained his winning touch with big triumphs this year, including the World Cup of Pool Championship 2009 where our superstitious pool icon teamed up with Francisco “Django” Bustamante to beat the star German duo of Ralph Souquet and Thortsten Hohmann last September.
Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines president Arturo Ilagan projected at least four SEA Games gold medals for the team that also listed Bustamente, Dennis Orcollo, Rodolfo Luat, Carlo Biado, Roberto Gomez Jr., Gandy Valle and Warren Kiamco in its star-studded men's lineup.
Amit, who made history this year as the country’s first female world pool champion, remains a favorite in the women's side just six months after ruling the World Women's 10-Ball Championships.
The surprise golden performance of Philippine long jump queen Marestella Torres in the Asian Athletics Championships this November in Guangdong, China just made her as the country's top bet in the SEA Games athletics event.
WORDS BY: JASMINE PAYO
ILLUSTRATION BY: KELVIN TEE