Skid­ding Painters skin Kings

Oliva caps YOG stint in style

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By ABAC CORDERO By NEL­SON BEL­TRAN

BUENOS AIRES – Ni­cole Oliva, who chose to rep­re­sent the Philip­pines in­stead of the United States in this Youth Olympic Games, be­came the first Filip­ina swim­mer to race in the fi­nals of the YOG. Not once but twice. Oliva, who lives in Santa Clara, Cal­i­for­nia with her Filipino par­ents, Mark of Cebu and Cyn­thia of Ili­gan, swam in the fi­nals of the 400-me­ter freestyle Fri­day at the Olympic Park here.

The 16-year-old Oliva topped her morn­ing heat with a time of 4:16.72, edg­ing Ching Hwee Gan of Sin­ga­pore (4:17.86) and bets from Nor­way, Peru, Latvia, San Marino and Por­tu­gal.

Then in the fi­nals, be­fore a big crowd that cheered like they were in a soccer match, the Filip­ina who al­most drowned in the pool when she was one year old even swam faster at 4:16.61 to fin­ish sixth among eight en­tries.

Ajna Ke­sely of Hun­gary won the gold in 4:07.14, Del­fina Pi­natiello of Ar­gentina sil­ver (4:10.40) and Mar­lene Kahler of Aus­tria bronze (4:12.48).

Last Wed­nes­day, she also made it to the fi­nals of the 200-me­ter freestyle, fin­ish­ing sev­enth with a time of 2:02.13, surprising ev­ery­body, in­clud­ing her par­ents and swim of­fi­cials.

In this YOG, Oliva also raced in the 100-me­ter and 800-me­ter freestyle but did not get past her heats. But to get to the fi­nals in two of her four events, all QTAs (qual­i­fy­ing time A), is rea­son to cheer.

“I was just try­ing to make the cut here and to have a good ex­pe­ri­ence, do my best and see how this will pre­pare me in fu­ture in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions for the Philip­pines,” she said.

“That’s the plan,” said Oliva, who’s look­ing at the 2019 Manila SEA Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She saw ac­tion in the 2017 SEA Games and won the sil­ver in the 4x200 free.

Golfers Yuka Saso and Carl Jano Cor­pus be­gin their quest in the 54-hole team event at Hurling­ham Club Satur­day while archer Ni­cole Ta­gle sees ac­tion in the mixed in­ter­na­tional event with her team­mate from Es­to­nia, Hendrik Oun.

Ta­gle will also vie in Sun­day’s in­vidi­vud­ual event. Once again, ac­tion in the kite­board­ing was stalled due to lack of wind, as well as Filipino en­try Christo­pher Tio’s medal hopes.

It turned out all Rain or Shine needed was a dif­fer­ent scenery to nail down a first win.

Even mi­nus one key player and ranged against the much-touted Barangay Gine­bra Kings, the Elasto Painters fi­nally checked their slump, pulling the rug from un­der the reign­ing back-to-back champs, 104-97, in their PBA Gov­er­nors Cup Petron Blaze road show­down at the Que­zon Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Lu­cena last night.

Be­hind a tor­rid shoot­ing and a dogged ef­fort on the de­fen­sive end, the E-Painters pulled away in the third pe­riod and dis­played poise and grace in the face of a sear­ing Gine­bra chase in the fourth quar­ter to chalk up a first win af­ter los­ing all their first four games in the sea­son-end­ing tour­ney.

It’s a sweet win for the E-Painters es­pe­cially com­ing at the ex­pense of the tour­na­ment pace­set­ters whom they dealt a sec­ond loss against seven wins.

Mag­no­lia (6-1) and Alaska Milk (5-1) try to boost their own bids for a Top Four fin­ish and a twice-to-beat in­cen­tive in the quar­ter­fi­nals as they clash in the 6:45 p.m. mainer over at the Smart Araneta Coli­seum to­day.

NLEX (4-4) looks to ar­rest its two-game skid while Mer­alco (1-6) fights for dear life at 4:30 p.m. The scores: Rain or Shine 104 – Wat­son 29, Pon­fer­ada 18, Ahan­misi 12, Nor­wood 11, Belga 8, Daquioag 7, Tiu 6, Yap 6, Wash­ing­ton 4, Borbo­ran 3, On­wu­bere 0.

Gine­bra 97 – Brownlee 23, Teno­rio 15, Mar­i­ano 14, Fer­rer 13, Thomp­son 10, Aguilar 7, Caperal 6, Chan 5, Dela Cruz 2, Caguioa 2.

Quar­ter­scores: 28-28, 51-44, 87-73, 104-97

Ni­cole Oliva

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