KUALA LUMPUR – All five boxers of the developmental team of the PLDT-ABAP Boxing Team made it to the finals of the Kuala Lumpur City Day Boxing Tournament here.
The invitational tournament drew 59 boxers from host Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, Hongkong, Brunei and the Philippines.
Jade Bornea, 17, reached the finals after a sensational one round stoppage over Syarul Effendi Abd Aziz of Perak.
Neophyte Roldan Boncales,19, a compatriot of Bornea from General Santos City, also won in the semifinals over another Malaysian, Mohd Hassan Zahari, 10-4.
Jonas Bacho of Mandaluyong, 18, avenging a heart-breaking loss in Armenia, made a victim out of Singapore’s Mohamed Solihin Nordin via RSC (referee-stopped contest) in the second round.
Nico Magliquian, also fighting only for the second time internationally, had two RSC wins en route to the finals, the last one an abbreviated fight that lasted barely a minute against the Malaysian Air Forces’ Mohd Ismahafizi Abd Rahim.
2011 World Junior Champion Eumir Marcial was devastating in his second appearance here. He stopped Nasurudin of Perak (Malaysia) in the second round of their fight. In the Tuesday semis, it took the 17-year-old lad from Zamboanga awhile to get his bearings.
It looked like the Malaysian boxer from the Royal Navy was leading in the early going but Marcial caught him with a wicked combination capped by a cracking right cross to the kisser, sending Effendi Kalai to the canvass unconscious.
“The scene was eerily reminiscent of the Pacquiao fall to Marquez. Although the Malaysian Navyman lay on his back, and it took almost 3 minutes for him to regain consciousness. We were all concerned,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson, who was at ringside.
“We were much relieved when after about 30 minutes he resurfaced and went to Marcial to embrace and congratulate our boy”, Picson said.
The Wednesday finals will see Bornea up agaist Razni of the Royal Air Force, Boncales versus Hami of Singapore, Bacho also faces a Singaporean in Hamid. Magliquian goes for the gold against Qatar’s Sadiq while Marcial has Air Force man Wan Aziz.
A cash incentive of One Thousand US Dollars each will be awarded by the organizers to all gold medalists.
The young Filipino boxers came here on invitation of ASBC (Asian Boxing Confederation) vice president Maj. Subramaniam Balasingam of Malaysia.
“We sent our young boxers to give them international exposure in preparation for our hosting of the Asian Youth Championships in Subic this March”, said ABAP president Ricky Vargas.
Vargas, who is also president of Maynilad Water Corporation, said that although this was a relatively small invitational tournament, it was important that they get the feel of the international arena environment.
“They are all products of our grassroots development program that we started in 2009 when we took over. Late last year, they also had a bountiful harvest in the Taipei City Cup. In the World Youth Championships in Armenia in November, Jade Bornea snatched a bronze. And he only came into the pool April of 2012”.
The team returns to Manila Thursday.