DECEMBER 5, 2006
(STAR) By Dante Navarro - The Philippines’ Markwin Tee and Tyrone Ongpauco edged closer to clinching the first medal for the national contingent, holding on to third overall in the first half of bowling doubles event even as boxer Godfrey Castro stopped his Malaysian rival in Day 4 of the 15th Asian Games here.

Castro showed he was a worthy replacement to a seasoned compatriot as he marked his Asiad debut with an RSC-O (Referee Stopped Contest-Outscored) victory over Azizi Mohamad of Malaysia to advance to the quarterfinals at the Aspire Hall 5.

Castro’s resounding triumph in the lightfly class made it 3-for-3 for the RP bombers following victories of flyweight Violito Payla and featherweight Anthony Marcial.

The bowlers zeroed in ending the country’s four-day medal drought as Tee and Ongpauco rallied from a so-so start to finish third after the first half of the doubles event at the Qatar Bowling Centre.

Tee, the SEA Games masters champion, and Ongpauco amassed a total of 2742 to finish 40 pinfalls behind joint leaders Al Qatan Abdulla and Al Hajri Saed of host Qatar and Mohammad Jamal Ali and Al Abadla Nayef Eqab of United Arab Emirates.

The other Filipino bets Chester King and Biboy Rivera were ninth at 2531. Former World Cup titlist Paeng Nepomuceno and CJ Suarez were slated to bowl late in the evening.

In other fronts, the Filipinos had mixed results in the fourth day of competitions in this oil-rich emirate with the SEA Games champion tennis team winning its first round match, the youthful chessers upstaging their more fancied rivals and the snooker team getting bundled out by a steady Vietnam side.

At the close of Sunday’s competition, the RP bowlers were wiped out in the singles events, the celebrated Fil-Am duo of Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua blasted by a tall Chinese pair in beach volleyball, veteran judoka John Baylon toppled, Sidney Schwarzkoph IV booted out, and the RP riders lost their bid in road cycling.

Halfway through the fourth day of the Games, China continued to flex its muscle in all venues, amassing 31 golds, 12 silvers and eight bronzes and leaving the rest of the field, including former Asiad rulers Japanese, fighting for crumbs.

Japan was running second with a 7-10-10 tally followed by Korea in 4-8-14.

The Philippines, represented here by a 229-man delegation, continued to watch SEAG rivals Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia at the leader board with one gold medal apiece as it remained winless although its brave bunch of boxers continued to win fights.

Castro, who took over the spot of Busan Asiad silver medalist Harry Tanamor, made his mark right on his first Asiad stint whipping his Malaysian rival with a combination of shots to the head and body to post the abbreviated victory in 12 seconds of the third round.

He guns for a crack at the bronze medal against Saudi bet Al Ahmry Ali Saad, who fashioned out a 32-16 win over Timor Leste’s Yeferdson Issac in the other 48kg match.

The RP netters struggled against their Kuwait rivals but prevailed in the end. Eric Taino hacked out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Abdullas Maqdas while Cecil Mamiit dropped a 5-7, 6-7 decision to Mohammed Ghareeb in the singles matches. The Fil-Am pair later won the doubles, 6-2, 6-2.

IM Darwin Laylo trampled GM Moosa Talib Ibrahim to gain a share of fifth place with six others with 4.5 points, 1.5 points behind GM Bu Ziangzhi of China after seven rounds of play in the men’s rapid chess competitions at the Al-Dana indoor hall.

Compatriot Ronald Dableo, on the other hand, drew with GM Susano Megaranto of Indonesia for joint 12th with four points heading into the last two rounds of the nine-round Swiss system tournament.

But while the youthful RP masters continued to buck the odds, Jedara Docena failed to sustain her pace and bowed to WIM Olga Sabirova of Uzbekistan, dropping to a share of ninth in the ladies play with 3.5 points.

Leonardo Andam and Alvin Punzalan dropped a 0-3 decision to Vietnam’s Do Hoang Quan and Luong Chi Dung in a round of 32 clash in the men’s snooker doubles at the Al-Sadd multi purpose hall.

Arnel Quirimit finished 13th in road cycling, 10 minutes and 15 seconds behind winner Wong Kam Po of Hong Kong.

At the Hamad Aquatic Center, the quartet of Miguel Molina, Ernest Lorenzo Dee, James Walsh and Ryan Paulo Arabejo qualified in the final of the 4 x 200-meter freestyle event by finishing sixth in a field of 14 countries.

The RP tankers clocked 7:45.26, 21.21 seconds behind China, the fastest qualifier.

The Filipinos, however, were eliminated in the individual events.

Maria Giorgina Gandionco (2:22.70) and Erica Totten (2:24.89) placed ninth and 10th, respectively, in the women’s 200-meter butterfly.

In the women’s 400-meter freestyle, Totten finished ninth (4:27.98) while Gandionco ended up 11th (4:28.68).

The other RP finishers were Gerard Bordero (16th, 1:05.47) in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke and Daniel Coakley (13th, 23.98) and Kendrick Uy (22nd, 24.54) in the 50-meter freestyle.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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