[PHOTO AT LEFT - Arniel Ferrera remains SEAG’s iron man with his fifth gold medal in hammer throw. Jun Mendoza |VIENTIANE]

VIENTIANE, LAOS, DECEMBER 15, 2009 (STAR) By Gerry Carpio - Arniel Ferrera, the king of hammer throw, and Daniel Coakley, grandson of a pre-war Olympic swimmer, re-established their prominence in the Southeast Asian Games in record-breaking fashions while two other colleagues claimed the other golds as Team Philippines bounced back from an almost-nil performance the other day with four golds yesterday.

Ferrera won the hammer throw for the fifth straight SEA Games, this time inrecord 61.62 meters in another shining moment in a career that he nurtured under his first coach, a priest who died in 2003.

Late last night, Ronnie Alcano, the 2005 world 8-ball champion, and Gandy Valle were playing in an all-Filipino finals in the 8-ball singles, assuring the Philippines of a gold-silver finish and the first in billiards and snooker fronts.

At the nearby pool of the National Sports Complex, Coakley, great grandson of Teofilo Yldefonso, a 200m breaststroke ace who won the bronze in the 1928 and 1932 Olympics, celebrated his 20th birthday in style, breaking his own SEA Games mark in retaining the 50m freestyle title in 22.62 seconds.

Ryan Arabejo added one in the record books with his win in the 1,500m freestyle in 15:37.75 while Rosie Villarito came through with the fourth gold, the second in athletics, in the javelin throw.

The four-day gold harvest of 12, modest by the standards of Thailand (28-37-37), Vietnam (25-22-29), Singapore (21-12-24), Malaysia (20-20-27) and Indonesia (16-18-26) was a big comeback by the Filipinos who almost went zero in gold hunt Saturday until Cecil Mamiit and Treat Huey salvaged the only victory by midnight for Team Philippines.

Coakley, whose great grandfather was the first Filipino to win an Olympic medal, reset his own SEA Games mark of 22.80 in the 2007 Thailand Games.

The 30-year-old Villarito’s heave in the javelin throw (49.69 m) didn’t qualify as a meet record, but good enough to snatch the gold over Lo Thi Hang of Vietnam (45.95).

“Just fight and don’t give up,” were the encouraging words sent by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping through text message to the RP delegation here.

Meanwhile, four Filipino muay artists – Jonathan Polosan, Romnick Pabalate,Zaidi Laruan and Rolando Claro – also advanced into the final of their respective events, same with boxer Harry Tanamor, a 12-4 winner over Htet Aung of Myanmar in their semifinals match at the 48 kg. class.

The Filipinos could have added more to their wins but weightlifter Joselito Padilla came up just short in the above-94kg category and the pair of Nino Carog and Zardo Domenios could only manage the silver in synchronized diving.

Another lifter, Renante Briones, had to settle for the bronze in the below-94kg. class. The other bronze medalists of the day were triple jumper Joebert Delicano and 5,000m runner Julius Sermona and muay artist Ana Marie Rey in the bantamweight division.

In golf, the trio of Chihiro Ikeda, Maria Imelda Piccio and Dottie Ardina rallied from four strokes down and assembled a 285 for a one-stroke lead over overnight leader Thailand and five against Malaysia.

Ikeda remained at second in individual play merely two strokes behind K. Yupaporn of Thailand who had a 138 total after two rounds. Ardina was at sixth with 148 and Piccio’s 151 placed her at ninth in the cast of 20.

The RP men’s team (637) was at third in the penultimate round within striking distance of the gold medal behind Thailand (633), Singapore (634) but in individual play, the highest ranking Filipino-Mark Fernando – is at eighth spot (214) six off Thai S. Wasin (208). Antonio Asistio was 11th with 215 and Jonel Ababa was at 216 for 13th place in a field of 36.

Arum: Dallas still in race but LA out (The Philippine Star) Updated December 14, 2009 12:00 AM

RANCHO MIRAGE, California – Boxing promoter Bob Arum expects to settle on a site for Philippine fighter Manny Pacquiao’s bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. by next week.

While Las Vegas is the front-runner, Arum claims it still might be Dallas – and it definitely won’t be Los Angeles.

The Top Rank boss spoke glowingly of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his willingness to outbid Vegas for what might be the richest fight in boxing history. Arum also expressed frustration Saturday night with Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer, who assists Mayweather Promotions, for canceling a trip to Dallas because he doesn’t want the fight in Jones’ opulent stadium.

“I know Texas people, and I know that a first proposal doesn’t mean it’s the final proposal,” said Arum, who promotes Pacquiao. “I’m saying that Dallas is a real live possibility, and I have a fiduciary responsibility to Manny Pacquiao to get him the most money.”

The Dallas bid was thought to be nearly dead after Schaefer skipped the trip on Wednesday to scout for Mayweather. But Arum, speaking after Top Rank fighter Lamont Peterson lost his title shot against Timothy Bradley, insists Schaefer must consider Jones’ offer – a guarantee of $25 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, which might go even higher.

“I think everybody involved has an obligation to see,” said Arum, who has turned over the nuts-and-bolts negotiations to Top Rank president Todd duBoef because Arum gets too emotional. (AP)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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