Davao “golden boys” upset over failure to compete in nat’l slugfest

"My sons were upset and it's very painful to me as their mother," said Erlinda who went directly to Ilo-ilo City from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan wherein she witnessed the golden performances of her sons in the recently concluded Palarong Pambansa.

"They expect too much that they can participate because they trained hard for three months for this event," she added.

Engelbert, 15, and John Vincent, 13, won gold medals in the biggest national competition for elementary and secondary students nationwide but were deprived to defend their title in the national slugfest because the Davao City chapter of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) failed to come up with the money to bring boxers to compete in Ilo-ilo.

ABAP-Davao reportedly only had P10,000 available budget for the 20 boxers, way below the P79,000 needed for their trip to Ilo-ilo.

Supposedly, Erlinda and her sons would meet in Ilo-ilo City on May 2, two days before the start of the national amateur slugfest. But the supposed meeting turned out to be a nightmare for Erlinda who waited for nothing.

As the competitions unfolds, Erlinda is traveling back home where her national team hopeful golden boys are anguishing in pain for not having been given the chance to compete.

Citing the sacrifices of Engelbert and John Vincent and the 20 other boxers under ABAP-Davao during the three-month training period, Erlinda told Davao Sportswriters Association Forum that she was really upset and hurt.

"That was the hardest training they underwent. They only ate two times a day in order to maintain their weight," said Erlinda.

Asked if they could win the gold if they were given the chance to compete, the soft spoken Moralde brothers replied in the vernacular, "We can make it."
In the Palarong Pambansa, Engelbert, an incoming third year high school student at the Erico T. Nograles High School, threw a barrage of punches to beat Jhon Merced of MIMAROPA, 24-4, in less than two minutes in their paper-weight class encounter.

For his part, John Vincent showered Jhon Dabert Arcita of Western Visayas with one after the other to take his own RSC-outscore victory, 15-0 in 11 seconds of the second round.

The Moralde brothers’ Davao Region teammates from nearby Panabo City — Jerry Ancajas and Mark Anthony Barriga — are doing well in the competition.
Calinan district of this city also sent some 10 boxers courtesy of Councilor Jose Louie Villafuerte.

The Moralde brothers’ victory drew huge impressions from the ABAP officials that boosted their chances to realize their dreams of making it to the national team. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)