Jakarta—Hidilyn Diaz added an Asian Games gold medal into her growing legend by topping the Women’s 53kg Division of the Weightlifting Competitions at the Jakarta International Expo Hall here on Tuesday night.
The silver medalist of the Rio Olympics submitted 92 kgs in the snatch and 207 in the Clean & Jerk for a total of 207, just enough to crush the challenge of Turkmenistan’s Kristina Shermetova, who had a 206 total for the silver.
Diaz’s gold catapulted the Philippine Delegation to 14th overall in the medal standings with one gold and four bronze medals barely two days into the Asian Games featuring Asia’s best athletes.
With the gold dangling around her neck, the 2016 Philippine Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Year also stands to receive a cash windfall of P6 million—P2 million from the Philippine Olympic Committee, P2 million from the government through Republic Act 10699, which expands the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches and P1 million each from the Siklab Foundation and the Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hoong.
Meanwhile, a two-week-old Philippine team nearly pulled off a Great Wall-sized upset on China, yielding a close 80-82 setback to the favorites in the 2018 Asian Games Basketball Competition at the Gelora Bung Karno Basketball here Tuesday night.
Stanley Pringle, who fueled the team’s fourth-quarter fightback, turned goat when his over-dribbling allowed Zhao Rui to pick his pocket in the dying seconds.
The pesky Chinese guard scooted home for the layup that tied the count at 80 all, before calmly sinking two free two throws in the final 45 seconds off a foul by cramp-stricken Jordan Clarkson for the insurance baskets.
With no time left to devise a last-ditch play, the nationals were forced to launch a hurried attempt courtesy of Paul Dalistan, whose three-point try from way out bounced off the ring, enabling the Chinese to escape with the win.
“I don’t see this as a loss,” said Philippine team coach Yeng Guiao, knowing that with the gallant stand, they sent a message that they mean business in these games.
That message, hopefully, gets into the nerves of Koreans, who the nationals take on at the start of the Knockout Quarterfinal Stage on Saturday.
The NBA stars of the game, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Clarkson of the Philippines and the Houston Rockets’ Zhou Qi and Dallas Mavericks’ Ding Yanyuang did not disappoint.
Clarkson fueled a fiery second-quarter assault as his three consecutive triples allowed the Philippines to level the count at 55-all with 2:30 left before halftime. He ended up with a game-high 28 points to go with four assists and eight rebounds in a scintillating debut for the Philippines.
On the other hand, the 6’7” Ding had seven points and five rebounds, while the 7’1” Zhou was a pain in the neck for the Filipinos inside with his 25 points and 12 rebounds, to go with 7 blocked shots, 3 on Christian Standhardinger.
The Fil-German, however, made up for it in the second half as he joined Pringle to preside over the Philippines’ offense.
Standhardinger hauled eight rebounds and scored 18, including two free throws in the final three minutes that finally gave the nationals the lead at 76-74, after trailing by as much as 12 early in the second quarter, 15-27.
With Clarkson resting in the fourth due to cramps, Pringle, who struck with 14, picked up the cudgels with a reverse layup off a Pay Erram point-blank miss and a layup against the Chinese giants as the nationals hoisted their biggest lead of 80-77, before losing control in the end.
China (82) — Zhou 25, Wang 13, Abudurexiti 12, Zhao 11, Ding 7, Sun 6, Liu 5, Fang 2, Dong 1
PH (80)— Clarkson 28, Standhardinger 18, Dalistan 10, Erram 6, Almazan 2, Belga 2, Norwood 0, Ahanmisi 0, Yap 0
Quarters: 20-12; 36-31; 59-57; 82-80
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