GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Reymar Brillo of Sultan Kudarat needed just 14 seconds to send his opponent, Zaldy Ricopuerto of Malungon, Saranggani, sprawling to canvas during the preliminary round of the Philippine Sports Commission-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup at the Robinsons Place here.
A veteran of almost a hundred bouts at only 18 years old, Brillo furiously chased his foe and connected with combinations to the head that instantly floored Ricopuerto. The referee waved the fight off almost immediately.
"Sabi ni coach, kung makaya mo i-knockout, i-knockout mo na," said Brillo, who progressed to the Mindanao quarterfinals that will be held in Kidapawan City in February, along with eight other boxers.
Brillo has been fighting since he was nine, and has already fielded in some offers to turn professional.
"Pag-iisipan ko po ng husto," he said. "Sa ngayon, training po muna."
His coach, Jimmy Cubay, has trained Brillo in the Sultan Kudarat boxing team for the past two years and is confident that his boxer can fight for flag and country in international competitions.
"Pag-isipan po namin itong kay Reymar. Wala akong masasabi sa batang ito. May lakas, tapang, at mabait pa," said Cubay, who has already sent a protégé – Carolyn Calungsod – to the women's national team.
The PSC-Pacquiao Cup is a joint undertaking between the government sports agency and Senator Manny Pacquiao that hopes to find talents that can be endorsed to the national pool.
In coordination with the Philippine Sports Institute and the Amateur Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, the qualifying rounds of the tournament will be held December 16 to April 7 in different parts of the country.
James Errol Gahaton (44-46kg youth boys) of Barangay Labangal, General Santos City also advanced to the quarterfinals along with Ben John Rey Yagahon of Malaybalay City and Jayson Brillo of Sultan Kudarat in the 48kg division.
Also making it to the quarters were Ariel Almamento of General Santos, Jake Sone Saludar of Polomolok, South Cotabato in the 46-49kg; Acreboy Baranggan of Aglayan, General Santos, John Igancius Macas of Cagayan de Oro and Gen San’s Criz Sander Laurente in the 52kg division.
The preliminary rounds for the national finals will kick off April 14-15 in Mandaluyong City followed by the quarterfinals on April 21-22 in Bohol. The semifinals will be held in Tagum City in Davao del Norte on April 28 while the finals will return to General Santos City on May 5.
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