2011.08.02
Three Reigning SEA Games Wrestling Champions to Defend Titles this November

By: Karlo Silverio L. Sevilla III

Ifugao sensation Jason Balabal and renowned brothers Margarito Jr. and Jimmy Angana breezed through their opponents in the National Wrestling Championships last July 29 to 30, 2011 and will defend their respective championship titles in the coming 26th Southeast Asian Games this November in Indonesia.

In the Freestyle Championship, Jason Balabal, representing the Ifugao State University (IFSU), trounced Melvin Sia of Manila in the finals of the 84 kg freestyle event. Jimmy Angana of Zamboanga City triumphed over Elvis Julius of IFSU in the 66 kg to bag the gold. The National Freestyle Wrestling Championship was held on July 30 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Activity Center as part of the 2011 Adidas Martial Arts Festival.

The following day, on the 30th, Margarito Angana Jr. toyed with his Zamboanga City wrestling teammate Marlou Onrubia in their championship match in the Greco-Roman 55 kg division. The Greco-Roman style was held at the Manuel Roxas High School in Quezon City, the main event of the 1st Coun. Edcel B. Lagman Jr. National Wrestling Championship Cup.

Zamboanga City emerged the team champion, followed by Manila and Quezon City for second and third places respectively in the Championship Cup, after the results in the freestyle and Greco-Roman events were totaled.

The National Wrestling Championships served as the second and final qualifying rounds for aspirant Filipino wrestlers for the 26th SEA Games. The first round was during the Philippine National Games held last May in Bacolod City.

The Philippine Wrestling Team coaching staff and the Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) will finalize soonest on who among the other national champions will officially qualify for the limited slots offered for wrestling (5 for Greco-Roman, 5 for Freestyle, and 3 for Women Wrestling) in the coming SEA Games.

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