DECEMBER 7, 2006
(STAR) By Dante Navarro - The Philippines continued to flounder heading into the second week of the Asian Games here Wednesday with no end in sight to snap a medal drought that has become as dry as the sands in this bustling city by the Gulf.

The menís bowling trios of Paeng Nepomuceno, Chester King and Tyrone Ongpauco failed to sustain its searing pace that produced a 1989 output at the end of the first block for No. 2 spot Tuesday and struggled at resumption with a 1745, dropping to No. 8 with 3734 with half of the field still has to complete play at presstime.

Malaysia took the provisional lead with a 4089 while Singapore and Saudi Arabia grabbed the next two spots with 3985 and 3871, respectively.

The best that the Philippines could hope for is for the other RP team of Markwin Tee, CJ Suarez and Biboy Rivera to churn out a spectacular round in the vicinity of 2300 for a crack at the bronze medal.

After three games, the three had 1822.

The Philippinesí last medal hope in the day, Roel Ramirez, failed to step up and finished sixth in a field of eight in the horse vault event of gymnastics.

He scored 15.700 points with North Korean Se Gwang Ri winning the gold with 16.625. Malaysian Shu Wai Ng (16.487) and Yernar Yerimbetov of Kazakhstan (16.300) took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

That capped the setback-marred day for the Filipino bets.

In boxing, Francis Joven took the early way out as he rammed into Thai Angkhan Chomphuphuang and lost via RSC-CCL (Compulsory Count Limit) in 1.48 of the third round in the welterweight division. Delfin Boholst was the first to go among the pugs.

That leaves five boxers in the quarterfinal round with Violito Payla and Anthony Marcial gunning for semis today. (See related story on Page 22)

Siblings Kennie and Kennevic Asuncion also succumbed to the Malaysian pair of Kien Keat Koo and Swee Ling Quay, dropping a 13-21, 15-21 decision and bowing out of the badminton mixed doubles competitions at the Aspire Hall 3.

The Malaysians, ranked No 18 in the world, proved too talented, too tough for the RP tandem, winning the first set in just eight minutes before wrapping up the match in 10 to advance to the last 16.

The Asuncions, ranked No. 21 in the world, were into the fight in the first set but lost seven straight points after moving within, 3-5, as the Malaysians raced to a 12-3 lead before cruising to the win.

Earlier, the team of Liza del Rosario, Marianne Posadas and Josephine Canare ended seventh in bowlingís womenís trios, combining for 3664, 319 off South Koreaís winning score of 3983.

The national baseball team took an embarrassing 8-1 loss at the hands of Thailand in baseball, capping an unforgettable week of five straight losses.

The Japanese-trained Thais settled the issue with eight hits on top of the final inning, producing seven runs in the process.

Filipino cyclists finished eighth in the menís team time trial, clocking 1:31:44.98.

Lifter Renante Briones did not finish in the 105-kg Group B of weighlifting.

Filipino swimmers actually smashed two national records Tuesday night, but could still not produce a medal.

Miguel Molina swam the first leg of the 4x100-meter relay in 51.66 seconds, breaking the old standard of the now retired Ryan Papa (52.3 seconds).

The relay team, also made up of Daniel Coakley, James Walsh and Uy, finished sixth, but its time of 3:31 now stands as a national mark.

On Wednesday, Molina qualified to the final of the 200-meter individual medley by finishing sixth in the morning heats. The United States-trained swimmer clocked 2:08.18, 3.56 seconds behind top qualifier Hidemasa Sano of Japan.

Marichi Gandionco finished third in the first final of the 800-meter freestyle event with a time of 9:14.80. The second final will be held Wednesday evening. The rest of the RP hopefuls failed to qualify in their respective events.

Denjylie Cordero wound up 10th in the womenís 200-meter breaststroke (2:41.41), Kendrick Uy placed 16th in the menís 100-meter freestyle (52.83) and Erica Totten struggled at 15th in the womenís 100-meter freestyle (59.44).

The Filipinos ended their campaign in rowing by taking fifth place in the menís double sculls and ninth in the menís lightweight double sculls.

Benjamin Tolentino Jr. and Jose Rodriguez topped the menís double sculls final B, clocking 3:22.49, beating Chinese-Taipei, Japan and Hong Kong.

In the menís lightweight double sculls, Alvin Amposta and Nilo Cordova ended up last in the three-team Final C with a time of 3:36.96.

Over at the Lusail shooting range, Nathaniel Padilla finished 17th in the 25-meter rapid fire pistol qualification, firing 566, 14 points behind top qualifier Zhang Penghui of China.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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