First batch of SEA Games bets off today
By: June Navarro (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

THE FIRST wave of Filipino athletes from wrestling, wushu and sailing will leave today for the 27th Southeast Asian Games set Dec. 11 to 22 in Burma (Myanmar).

Double gold medalists Margarito Angana Jr. and Jason Balabal, the country’s flag-bearer during the opening ceremony, are bound for Yangon where the wrestling competitions will be held beginning Dec. 9. With them are fellow grapplers Joseph Angana, Alvin Lobrequito, Noel Norada and Jhonny Morte.

Sanda fighters Daniel Parantac, Jessie Aligaga, Dembert Arcita, Francisco Solis, Divine Wally and Evita Elise Zamora will proceed to the SEA Games hub in Naypy-itaw where wushu unfolds on Dec. 6.

Duilian performers John Keithley Chan, Natasha Enriquez, Kariza Kris Chan and Norlence Catolico will join them along with Chinese coaches Qinghai Tong, Quan Chan and Ma Qing.

Sailors Richly Magsanay, Ridgely Balladares, Rubin Cruz Jr., Alaiza Mae Belmonte, Geylord Coveta and Renz Angelo Amboy will fly to Singapore at 7:30 tonight for an overnight stay before proceeding to Yangon the following day.

From Yangon, they will leave at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 for Pathein, where sailing is scheduled on Ngwe Saung Beach from Dec. 13 to 20.

“We’ve been preparing for months. Now bring home the gold,” chef de mission Jeff Tamayo told athletes, coaches and team managers in yesterday’s final orientation at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Members of men’s and women’s basketball, boxing, women’s football and canoe kayak are scheduled to leave tomorrow. Athletes in pencak silat will leave on Thursday while those in badminton will depart on Friday.

Athletes in billiards, mountain bike, rowing and shooting will leave on Dec. 7.