AMMAN, Jordan – Nesthy Petecio fought like the champion as she totally dominated Krismi Lankapurayalage of Sri Lanka, 5-0 at the second day of competitions of the Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualification Tournament for Boxing here.
The 27 year-old from Davao de Sur proved too skilled, too talented and too powerful for the Sri Lankan that some judges gave 10-8 scores even if there were no knockdowns or standing 8-counts.
“Sobrang focused ako dito. Baka ito na ang last chance ko to be an Olympian. Kailangan seryosohin lahat ng laban (I am very focused here. This might be my last chance to be an Olympian. I need to take all my fights seriously),” said the dusky lefty fighter, referring to several opportunities that slipped through her hands in the past.
Petecios’ next match is on Sunday against Japanese Sena Irie with whom she has a 1-1 head-to-head record.
Former Olympian Reynaldo Galido, who took over the women’s head coaching responsibilities from an indisposed Nolito Velasco, is confident about the Sunday showdown.
“Maganda ang kinikilos ni Nesthy ngayon. Last time sila nagkita sa World Championships, 4-1 ang panalo ni Nesthy sa kanya. Sila ang mag-adjust ngayon pero handa kami (Nesthy fights very well now. Last time they met in World Championships, Nesthy won 4-1 against her. They have to adjust but we are ready),” Galido said.
The winner between Petecio and Sena will automatically book a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July.
Meanwhile, diminutive Riza Pasuit made it 3 of 3 for the Philippine squad with a squeaker of a 3-2 over Saya Hamamoto of Japan in their lightweight (60 kg.) match on Wednesday.
Pasuit doggedly stayed with the taller Japanese, exchanging punches and scoring repeatedly with clear right hooks and snappy combinations.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson expressed jubilation over the performance of the team so far.
“Naturally, we’re happy. But as our president Ricky Vargas reminded us over long distance call, it gets tougher. Not only will the opposition be better, but everyone is looking to beat us now,” Picson said.
Picson lauded the ABAP coaches as well as the support of the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports Foundation and prayers of the Filipinos.
“Our boxers were given ample training to prepare for this. We’re still optimistic, but guardedly so,” he added.
On Thursday, World Championships silver medalist Eumir Felix Marcial, a No. 1 seed here like Petecio, sees action for the first time against Australia’s Kirra Ruston, a winner over Hong Kong’s Tai Leong Kan.
Lightweight James Palicte goes up against Elnur Abduraimov of Uzbekistan, after drawing a bye in the first round of preliminaries. (PR)