PACQUIAO WANNABE PLUCKS GOLD FOR CEBU; AKLAN RULES IN THE POOL
DUMAGUETE CITY— His coach describes him as a naughty kid with a natural athletic flair.
On a humid Tuesday afternoon in front of a big crowd, Cebu City’s John Kevin Jimenez put those qualities to good use to score a unanimous decision over hard-fighting Dante Montales of La Carlota for the boys 34 to 35 kilograms boxing gold medal in the Batang Pinoy Visayas qualifying here.
“I was challenged because he (Montales) is also good,” said Jimenez in Filipino, a lollipop already plugged in his mouth after coming off the ring. “I like what I did. I fought very well.”
The sixth child in a brood of nine, Jimenez, a Grade 8 student, was introduced to the sport by his four elder brothers. One of them, Johnriel, is already fighting in the pros.
“He is mischievous and naughty, but he’s a good kid and we saw natural talent in him,” said his coach Jordan Dopalco.
Those traits served him in good stead as he stubbornly held off Montales for the gold.
Jimenez, who started boxing at 9, aspires to one day don the national colors and follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao and Mark Magsayo.
Chris Carlos Emnas scored for Leyte after beating local boy Jhon Jeffrey Rosales via unanimous decision in the boys 38kg.
Earlier, Cebu City collected three golds in karate through Gian Mangitngit in boys kumite 8 to 13 years -28kg, Genda Rya Atillo in girls kumite 8 to 1330kg, and Adrian Ray Ayuda in kumite boys 8 to 13 -32kg.
Cebu Province’s Trisha Jean Ogoc snared her second gold after topping the girls’ kumite 8 to 13 -25kg.
Host city Dumaguete grabbed a share of the lead late Monday after its archers hit the target with six more golds at Negros Oriental State University grounds.
Prisa Helen Lofranco led the gold winners, ruling the Cub girls 20 meters. Other winners were Crisha Mae Merto (Cadet girls 30m), Caryl Generoso (Cub girls 30m), Gabriel Flores (Cub boys 20m) and Carson Francis Hastie (Cub boys 30).
Dumaguete dominated the sport with nine golds. The team also won five golds in swimming, led by Ranzge Benedict Quilicot, who topped the boys 12-under 200m breaststroke and boys and girls relay teams.
Tagbilaran’s Gabriel Manigque, who at 15 already stands 6 feet, ruled the boys 13 to 15 200m freestyle for his fifth gold of the competition, which saw Aklan claim 15 golds. Bacolod and Ormoc each got eight golds from the pool.