ASEAN Para Games: PH opens men's 3X3 campaign with win over Indonesia


Posted at Jun 02 2023 02:53 PM

Team Philippines versus Indonesia at Elephant hall A of the Morodok Techo National Stadium Phnom Penh Cambodia. Handout photo
Team Philippines versus Indonesia at Elephant hall A of the Morodok Techo National Stadium Phnom Penh Cambodia. Handout photo

The Philippines overpowered Indonesia, 11-5, on Friday in men’s 3x3 basketball to jumpstart its campaign in the 12th ASEAN Para Games at Elephant Hall A of the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Sweet-shooting Kenneth Tapia and bull-strong Alfie Cabanos presided over the decisive run that shattered a 5-5 deadlock to carve out the win for the Vernon Perea-mentored dribblers, who are out to finally strike gold after a silver-medal effort in last year’s edition in Surakarta, Indonesia.

“So far, so good,” said Perea, whose other players were Clifford Trocino, JR Escalante and Rene Macabenguil.

The Filipinos were playing the host Cambodians, the Thais and the Malaysians at press time, hoping for a run for that elusive gold.

The chess team, headed by Surakarta Para Games quadruple gold winner Sander Severino, waded into battle this morning at the Royal University in rapid chess that ends Saturday.

The Filipino woodpushers accounted for 10 of the 28 mints snared last time and coach James Infiesto is optimistic of their chances in improving, if not matching, that output here.

“We’re hoping to improve from last time,” said Infiesto.

A ceremonial flag ceremony was held Thursday that was attended by heads of the national paralympic committees, chiefs of mission and some athletes from the 11 participating nations including Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo and PSC commissioner and CDM Walter Torres.

The weeklong event, however, will be officially ushered in a grand opening ceremony Friday with the Philippines fielding in a select group of 50 athletes and officials including flag-bearer Ariel Aligarbes of swimming.

Action will then intensify Saturday with most of the 12 disciplines calendared here including medal-rich athletics and swimming unfurling mostly at the complex and a couple of venues just inside the Cambodian capital.

In centerpiece track and field, a total of 24 gold will be staked in Day 1 and the Filipinos, who fielded in a total of 23 athletes, hope to snatch a fair share of glory in the sport where the country had a six-gold haul in Surakarta.

“Handa na kami,” said national track and field coach Joel Deriada.

In swimming, the Philippines will field in the same 12 tankers from the last staging where they harvested a massive 12-mint haul, including three from Aligarbes.

Battle-scarred Gary Bejino and Ernie Gawilan will get to take the first cracks at gold in the 400-meter freestyle for S6 and S7 classes, respectively, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“Our goal is to make the country proud,” said national swimming mentor Tony Ong.