3 S. COTABATO PUGS ADVANCE TO MEDAL ROUND OF 2015 NATIONAL BATANG PINOY

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Three members of South Cotabato province’s boxing team have advanced to the finals and semifinals stages after the two-day eliminations over the weekend in the ongoing 2015 Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy national championships in Cebu City.

Joanavil Juadiong, a Grade 8 student of the Polomolok National High School (PNHS) in Polomook town, will be fighting for the gold medal on Wednesday night at the Cebu Coliseum in the girls’ 46-kilogram (kg) or light pinweight division.

The 14-year-old boxer, who scored impressive wins in the elimination round, will be facing a brawler from Tacloban City.

Juadiong, who is an honor student of the PNHS, is a first timer in the Batang Pinoy national championship.

“Boxing is not only about strength. A good fighter should also have wits,” she said in an interview.

The young boxer said she is determined to get the gold medal in the event and noted that she trained hard for it after hurdling the Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg in Koronadal City.

Juadiong’s schoolmate and team buddy Shaira Lynne Macaludos will be fighting for the silver medal on Tuesday against an opponent from Sarangani Province in the 44-kg or paperweight division.

Boxing boys’ team member Jasper Catalbas of Surallah town will also be fighting for the silver medal in the 44-kg or paperweight division.

Marlon Fortaleza, boxing team coach, said Macaludos and Catalbas will have a chance to advance to the finals if they will win their respective assignments on Tuesday.

“Hopefully, we’ll have three gold medal fights on Wednesday,” he said.

He expressed optimism over the gold medal chances of his wards noting that they prepared and trained hard for the national championship.

Out of the four boxers from the province who qualified for the Batang Pinoy nationals finals, three were able advance to the medal round.

“This is already a good performance for the team and we’re targeting to finish it with gold medals,” Fortaleza added. PNA