The 3rd Annual Philippines Wrestling Showcase at Vallejo, California, USA

By: Jason A. Guiducci

The 3rd Annual Philippines Wrestling Showcase in Vallejo, CA, USA saw some fantastic grappling occur on September 26, 2013. A bit of WAP history even came to light linking a current wrestler to an amazing figure of the WAP's past.

The middle school folkstyle division was a highly spirited contest, thanks in part to an all-time high number of participants with 56. The home team host Springstowne Wildcat Wrestling Academy brought 54 competitors to the event, which saw Lady Wildcats Joanne Cabanlit and Jasmine Capiral become the event's 1st 3-year participants. The pair wrestled at the Inaugural event in 2011 and each subsequent one since. Nearby Benicia Middle School also brought two highly skilled wrestlers in Tara and Basil Othman, who went a combined 5-1 on the day.

The High School/Open saw a dip in the number of participants with only 11 competitors registered for the event, but the competition was fierce throughout including an amazing storyline as the exclamation point to a terrific evening.

Co-Director Jeremiah Esguerra and newly coined "Mr. Showcase" extended his All-Time Record Showcase win total to 5 in 3 years, by scoring both Freestyle and Greco wins vs. the physically imposing Damien Reyes. On the girl's side, the crowd was treated to a battle of the titans between Ricki Liang and Shelly Avelino, two of the all-time greats from the Springstowne program. The two were deadlocked 4-4 at the end of the 1st period, before Liang utilized her experience as a two-time member of USA Wrestling's Team California to pull out the win.

The most intriguing story of the night was Brandon Basa, who traveled close to 200 miles from Carson City, Nevada to compete in the HS/Open. His grandfather was Jose Ma Basa III, who was appointed by President Marcos to train and prepare Philippine wrestlers to compete at an event in Edmonton, Canada in the 1970s. The family even had a vintage WAP warm up top on hand.

Brandon lived true to the family's wrestling heritage as he scored 2 freestyle wins and one Greco win on the night.

Following up last year's success of the singlet donation program, this year's Showcase will be donating 30 singlets to be split amongst three clubs identified by WAP President Albert Balde. The recipients will be Baguio, Ifugao, and Antique. The Springstowne Wildcats holding the singlets.

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