North Cotabato Bravehearts a step away to boxing’s 4 gold stops

The three other young boxers of the province would still see action tomorrow in the battle for silver medals in the Smart-PLDT National Amateur Youth Boxing Championships in Iloilo City.

Eleven-year-old Federico Ame, a son of a sidewalk vendor from Midsayap, North Cotabato, continued his winning ways in the No Weight Division by outpointing Mathew Jagnes of Palawan.

Ame's victory was followed by teammates Ryan Daquipil, 14, also of Midsayap, who retired Edwin Aboboto of Pototan, Iloilo, and then by Gilbert Gonzales,15, of M'lang, North Cotabato who stopped Rogelio Doligues of Saranggani Team A in the featherweight division.

Towering Benjie Artaba of President Roxas town, who at 17 is already 5' 7" tall, outpointed Edison Rotante of Bago City while Liemme Ovalo, 14, also of Pres. Roxas, outpointed Rogen Ladon also of Bago City.

The victory of Ame, Daquipil, Gonzales and Ovalo assured North Cotabato of 4 silver medals with the big chance of converting these to gold on the final day of the competition.

Falling on the wayside today in the face of superior opponents were 15-year-old Joemer Lumacad who lost to Zamboanga City's Angelo Marcial and Lyounney Lerio who was defeated by Gerson Nietes of Bacolod City.

Lumacad and Lerio, nevertheless, have already garnered bronze medals by virtue of their earlier victories.

Seeing action tomorrow for the silver medal and the chance to fight for the gold are 12-year-old Roberto Cano, 14-year-old Ramshane Sarguilla, a 2-time National Youth gold medallist and the tall Benjie Artaba.

Both Sarguilla, considered by experts as an Olympic hopeful because of his natural boxing skills that earned the admiration of boxing coaches including Nonito Donaire Sr., father of world flyweight champion Nonito Jr., and Artaba are highly favored to win their assignments tomorrow.

The North Cotabato team members, jointly sponsored by the Provincial Government of North Cotabato and 2nd District Congressman Bernardo Pinol Jr., have also assured themselves of 4 silver and 5 bronze medals with two days left in the National Youth Championships. (MindaNews)