By CARLO ANOLIN
Tokyo Games silver medalist Nesthy Petecio lost her Southeast Asian Games title after absorbing a controversial loss against home bet Tran Thi Linh of Vietnam Friday night in Hanoi, Vietnam.
In her first fight since her memorable Tokyo Games stint, Petecio suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tran in the women’s featherweight (57-60kg) division, a decision that was met with disapproval from the PH side.
The 30-year-old Petecio trailed after the first round as she found her groove too late and was on the defensive stance most of the time.
The second round proved to be costly for the defending gold medalist as the Vietnamese earned the nod of the judges despite Petecio seemingly landing the clearer punches.
Looking for a knockout in the third frame, Petecio peppered her rival with hefty body shots and powerful hooks in the late game but couldn’t get as many points needed to slice Tran’s lead in the judges’ scorecard.
Still, boxing president Ed Picson was utterly disappointed.
“This certainly was not what we expected but there were several factors that came into play. Obviously we’re disappointed,” said Picson.
Marjon Piañar wasn’t as fortunate as well and yielded to Indonesian foe Sarohatua Lumbantobing, 4-1, in the semifinal of men’s welterweight (63-69kg).
Both Petecio and Piañar settled for bronze medals.
Piañar lost steam in the second and third rounds as Lumbantobing was non-stop with his assault. The Indonesian pugilist also capitalized on several clinches and earned points by landing clean punches.
Meanwhile, Ian Clark Bautista and Irish Magno joined Eumir Felix Marcial and Rogen Ladon among the Filipino boxers who advanced to the gold medal rounds on Sunday.
“Obviously we’re disappointed but we still have four chances at gold and that’s what we’re focusing on now,” added Picson.
Bautista only needed two rounds in the semifinal to overwhelm Sao Rangsey of Cambodia with his combinations in the men’s bantamweight division (52-57kg) while Magno scored a unanimous decision win, 5-0, against Indonesian opponent Novita Sinadia in the women’s flyweight class (48-51kg).
Bautista, who was a bronze medalist in the 2019 edition here in the Philippines, was razor-sharp and won via RSC (referee-stops-contest) as Rangsey couldn’t return any blows against the Filipino’s continuous barrage of punches.
Magno, also a Tokyo Olympian and 2019 SEA Games silver medalist, showed poise and consistent boxing to haul as many points as possible against a much passive foe in Sinadia.