Tuesday, April 30, 2013

17 Young Pinoy Wrestlers to Compete in SEA Youth Wrestling

(Our two bronze medalists in last year's SEA Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championship: Joshua Gayuchan of Ifugao in the foreground, extreme right, and Alvin Lobreguito of Quezon City, during the opening ceremony's parade inside the Institute of Physical Education Hall, Suphanburi, Thailand.)

We in the Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) are sending off 17 young Filipino wrestlers—our  national sports association's biggest-ever international athletic delegation since 1997*—who will fly to Suphanburi, Thailand tonight to compete in the 6th Southeast Asian Junior and Cadet Wrestling Championship from May 3 – 5, 2013.

From a token delegation of only three wrestlers in last year’s edition of the championship, this time WAP fields a much bigger Philippine Youth Wrestling Team with the hope of proportionately increasing our chances of winning more medals than the two-bronze medal output in 2012. Last year’s bronze medals were bagged by Joshua Gayuchan of Ifugao and Alvin Lobreguito of Quezon City.

Gayuchan, who still belongs to the cadet (16-17 years old) division, will lead the Philippine Youth Wrestling Team with the goal of winning gold this time around. Lobreguito, on the other hand, has already graduated to the senior-age division at 21, and is concentrating on the 2013 Southeast Asian Games instead, which will be hosted by Myanmar this December.

While it will be very gratifying for us if all of our wrestlers will bring home medals, the truth is this team is composed of young athletes with varying competitive levels. Some are expected to win, some are expected more to learn, but all are expected to become better athletes and individuals.

Still, for the record, we find it a safe bet that they’ll take home a minimum of three gold medals.

In our 2013 Philippine NationalYouth Wrestling Championship last April 12-14, WAP qualified a total of 47 athletes for the Thailand event (which allows two athletes per weight class per country) but only 17 received funding. Six are funded by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), eight are supported by WAP, two athletes from New Era University (NEU) are sponsored by the Iglesia Ni Cristo and one from Mandaluyong City has all expenses paid by his family.

This year’s Philippine Youth Wrestling Team is made up of Baguio City’s Rosegyn Malabja, Minalyn Foy-os, Jerald Bosikaw and David Caoli; NEU’s Kristine Jambora, Nikkita Suarez and Brylle Magnabijon; Quezon City’s Meldion Piñon, King Bryan Guingona and Jefferson Manatad; Taytay’s Joseph Cañolas and Michael Jay Cater Sedano; Ifugao’s Joshua Gayuchan; Zamboanga City’s Marlou Onrubia; Makati City’s Richelle Piolo; Mandaluyong City’s Vince Palanca and Dumaguete City’s Ronil Tubog.

Serving the team as coaches for this international meet are national team Head Coach Roel Pacional and Greco-Roman Coach Roy Camposano, and NEU women’s wrestling and incoming national coach Maribel Jambora-Angana. Their team manager is WAP President Juan Alberto Balde.

WAP is still raising support for the other qualifiers who can’t make it to Thailand, to be able to see action in the much tougher Asian Junior Championship in Phuket, Thailand from June 13-16 and to the Asian Cadet Championship in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from July 25-28.

Update: Click here to see PHL Youth Wrestling Team results!

Those who want to help our participation in the abovementioned Asian Junior and Cadet Championships can deposit to our following Philippine National Bank (PNB) Harrison Plaza Branch accounts: 1) Account name: Wrestling Association of the Philippines, 2) Peso Account No. 411912700014 and/or 3) Dollar Account No. 411912700030. Any amount will be deeply appreciated—and needed. Those who wish so will be duly acknowledged. Thank you for your support.

*In 1997, the WAP fielded a total of 23 athletes for that year's Southeast Asian Senior Wrestling Championship in Vietnam.

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