Clemente Tabugara Jr. and Jessie Aligaga, two standouts who took over spots once held in the national team by wushu legends Eduard Folayang and Rene Catalan, led Team Philippines to a sweep of all five sanda (Chinese kickboxing) events of the 30th Southeast Asian Games wushu competitions yesterday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Additionally, Agatha Wong, a 21-year-old student from the College of St. Benilde, added another gold in the taolu-taijiquan and her effort hiked the Philippines’ haul in wushu for the day to six.
The Philippines thus took the lead in wushu with seven golds, two silvers and two bronzes, with Vietnam (3-2-7) taking second and Indonesia in third (2-5-2).
The 5’7” Tabugara came away with a 2-1 beating of Thailand’s Kittisak Suksanguan. This after advancing to the men’s 65 kg. finals on a 2-0 verdict over Myanmar’s Chit Koko.
The 36-year-old Aligaga, still smarting from a right knuckle injury the other day, prevailed over Indonesian Adi Permana, 2-0, for the men’s 48 kgs gold.
Inspired by Folayang’s cheers, Tabugara recovered from a fall in the second round, stuck to a defensive stance in the third, and after gaining enough points in with his strikes in the first.
“Isa po siyang (Folayang) inspirasyon. Nandun po siya at nanunuod. Hindi na lang po ako sumabay sa power nung kalaban,” said the 24-year old Tabugara.
Aligaga, who has earned his second gold since 2013, also kept a defensive stand against Permana.
Francisco Solis and Arnel Mandal took the golds in the men’s 56 kgs and 52 kgs side, while Divine Wally ruled the women’s 48kgs category.
Solis prevailed over Yusuf Widiyanto of Indonesia, 2-0. Mandal blanked Laotian top seed Pratama Laksamana, 2-0, and Wally downed Thi Chinh Nguyen of Vietnam.
Wally reached the finals after she put away Laos bet Laty Xeobounthan, 2-0.
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