by Nick Giongco
There is no stopping the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) from realizing its ultimate goal.
“Walang hinto hangga’t walang ginto (We won’t stop until we win the gold),” said national coach Roel Velasco during Tuesday’s weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Ermita.
Velasco, bronze medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, revealed that the Abap is sending its fighters just about everywhere in line with its quest to win the gold.
The elite members of the pool will see action either in Kazakhstan, Thailand and Indonesia and even in the 2019 World Championships in September in Ekaterinburg, Russia, as the country also gets ready for the 30th Southeast Asian Games late in the year.
There will be eight gold (men’s) and five gold (women’s) at stake in the SEAG set Nov. 30-Dec. 11 and Velasco is upbeat that the Filipinos will win the majority of the top finishes.
Joining Velasco were Fil-British John Marvin, Eumir Marcial and Ian Clark Bautista, who vowed to go the extra mile in their own bids.
Marvin and Marcial are shoo-ins for the SEAG as the two are raring to put on a show before hometown fans when action is held at the PICC.
“Nothing less than a gold for me,” said Marvin, 24, whose mother is from Pampanga.
Marcial, the 2001 world junior champion, likewise expressed his strong desire to win the same color.
“Sa tourmanent, wala akong iniisip kundi ang manalo (When I get to the tournament, I always go for the win),” he said.
After the SEAG and the world championships, 2020 will be dedicated solely to the Olympics in Tokyo.