Philippine Wrestling Team Kicks Off
2011 SEA Games Campaign

By: Karlo Silverio L. Sevilla III

The Philippine Wrestling Team's quest to win at least five gold medals in the upcoming November 2011 Southeast Asian Games was recently highlighted when it sent two young prospects to this year's Asian Senior Wrestling Championship held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from May 19 to 22.

Romulo Terio competed in the freestyle event, 60kg category while teammate Robertson Torres saw action in the Greco-Roman, 96kg weight class. Though they were not able to place among the top three in the Olympic-level tournament, Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) President Albert Balde was pleased with the rookies' performances. According to Balde, who acted as team manager in the event, "Considering it was their first time to play in the Asian Seniors, they played very well against their world-class opponents from China and Tajikistan, respectively." Adds Head Coach Roel Pacional, "Significantly, they performed better than their counterparts from Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese and Thai wrestlers were comparatively disposed of easily in the competition."

Reigning SEA Games champions Jimmy Angana, younger brother Margarito Angana Jr., and Jason Balabal, the top prospects of the Philippine Team, were not fielded in the competition as they were only made recently available for wrestling training. It was April of this year when they were finally allowed by their respective military units to go full time in training with the National Team. The National Wrestling Team won three gold medals courtesy of the aforementioned athletes during the 2009 Laos SEA Games. In this year's version of the regional games hosted by Indonesia, it seeks to win a minimum of five to the maximum of 17 gold medals available.

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