PAC­QUIAO WANNABE PLUCKS GOLD FOR CEBU; AKLAN RULES IN THE POOL

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SPORTS - By Marc An­thony Reyes @mar­creyesINQ

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.

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