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(18th August 2018)



PALEMBANG—Hagen Topacio overcame a shaky start but came storming back to score 71 points and wind up in a tie for third with six others after the first three rounds of the trap event as the Asian Games shooting championships fired off at the Jakabaring Sports City range here on a bright and sunny Sunday.  

Vying in a field of 30 entries, Hagen was off in the first round, gunning down 21 clay pigeons, but regained his bearings to hit all of his 25 flying targets in the succeeding two rounds, finishing one point behind joint leaders Manavjit Sandhu Singh of India and Pakistan’s Aamer Iqbal, who both shot identical 72s.

There are two more qualifying rounds on Monday, with the top six shooters after five rounds advancing to the semis, and then the finals also on the same day.

As his wont, the stocky but solidly-built Topacio, 28, declined to be interviewed until his performance is over.

Topacio is seeking redemption after dismal outings in his two previous Asian Games appearances in  Guangzhou, China and Incheon, South Korea, in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

Suffering from an early onset of dengue, the shooter placed 28th in the Guangzhou edition four years ago.

Topacio will be seeking to end the country’s 16-year-old medal drought since Jethro Dionisio bagged an individual bronze medal  in trap while teaming up with Eric Ang and Jimmy Recio in capturing the team bronze in the 2002 Busan Asian Games.     

Scheduled to see action likewise on Monday in the men’s and women’s 10-meter air rifle qualifying events were Jason Valdez and Amparo Acuna, respectively.






JAKARTA—All that national basketball coach Yeng Guiao wanted was a chance against mighty China, however slim. Then, he could take it from there. 


"Kung dati, we are a 100 to 1 underdog against China, ngayon we are just 100 to 20, nadagdagan na ang odds natin," said Guiao, whose wards battle the 2018 Asian Games favorites on Tuesday at 4 p.m. (5 p. m. Manila time) 


"We admit talaga naman favorite sila, but I feel the more important thing is now, we feel that we have more of a chance to win. Dati para talagang wala ka chance na manalo sa kanila," Guiao added. 


Credit NBA star Jordan Clarkson for the "slight' boost  in odds. 


"What's good for us is he can draw the defense and free up our shooters. His skills are very good, all of these combined translates to a quicker transition for him to make adjustments. So it's going to be two against one, Clarkson vs the two NBA Chinese players, "added Guiao, referring to players Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuang.


Qi is a 7'1" backup slotman of the Houston Rockets, while Ding is a 6'7" forward of the Dallas Mavericks.


“China is bringing their best team in the Asian Games. They are solid on all fronts specially their frontline,” said the Philippine Team's chief scout Ryan Gregorio, himself a three-time PBA champion coach. 


“Zhou Qi is tall and quick. He has a range that can extend to the 3-point range. He has great anticipation skills on defense. Ding is quick and strong, and has long range,” added Gregorio.


One of the plans, according to Guiao, is try to keep the game close, be aggressive the entire 40 minutes and out-run their rivals. 


"We will try to duplicate the defense that we did against Kazakhstan," said Guiao, referring to the 96-59 beating they handed the Kazakhs last Wednesday. 


“We will be banking on our quickness. We lack the height and length, but we can compensate with our quickness and intelligence,” seconded Gregorio. 






JAKARTA—The Philippines’ Roxanne Ashely Yu made it to the finals of the women's 200-meters by qualifying eight and last after the heats in the swimming competition of the 18th Asian Games at the Aquatics Center inside the Gelura Bung Karno complex.


Yu, a 21-year-old graduating student of Criminology at the University of Miami-Florida, clocked 2:19:12 in the event’s first of three heats to finish second behind China’s Yaxim Liu, who submitted the fastest qualifying time of 2:09.52s.  


Yu, who clinched a bronze medal in last year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in the same event, will battle for a medal in the final set at 6 p.m. as against Liu, Xuwei Peng also of China (2:11.39s), Dasol Im of Korea (2:12.24), Natsumi Sakai of Japan (2:12.30), Sayaka Akase of Japan (2:12.25), Toto Kwan To Wong of Hong kOng (2:15.90) and Nurul Fajar Fitriyati of host Indonesia (2:18.64).


“I just try hard to speed up my pace in the race. I am quite happy with my swim even though I was just told in so short time,” said Yu, a Youth Olympic Games qualifier who also bagged three bronze medals in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.


“Every time I hit naman po the water, I tried my best to beat my personal best. Hopefully, maganda ang swim ko later,” said Yu of her chances in the evening finals.