Annie Albania settled for the silver while Rey Saludar delivered mightily in the men's 52kg division to give Team Philippines its 3rd gold in the Asian Games. our once-mighty boxing team, once the class of asia, once so respected that the soviets would come to the philippines to train, limps home with a 1-1-1 gold-silver-bronze haul. it's a step down from our 2 gold 2 bronze haul 4 years ago, when we finished 3rd behind just uzbekistan and china. hiroshima 1994 seems even farther back when we won 3 gold and 2 bronze to win the overall championship ahead of thailand, china and the former soviet republics.
there's reason for hope, though. rey saludar is just 23 and brother victorio is just 20. annie albania is 28 and should be ripe for one final glorious run at the 2012 olympics when womens boxing will be a medal sport for the first time. she must have had a bad day today because i thought she should easily have won the gold. nevertheless, she's a solid olympic medal prospect.
this is just the 2nd year of MVP supporting the ABAP. first thing they did was overhaul the mens team and injected young blood. the saludar brothers, delfin boholst, wilfredo lopez and the highly-touted charly suarez are all young, skilled and fast and given MVP's support and proper exposure, any one of these youngsters can win olympic gold, whether in 2012 or 2016. if the old administration were still in place we'd still be seeing the likes of harry tanamor and violito payla at the asiad.
mvp's gilas team of 12 failed to bring home a medal. his boxing team of 5 men and 1 woman gave the country 1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at probably 10% of what it cost to support gilas. here's hoping that he doesn't get tired of supporting boxing.