Upon the recommendations of the national boxing team coaching staff, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) has decided not to send the majority of its delegation that is currently in a training camp in Thailand in the ASBC Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships in Dubai.
ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson said Tuesday, May 11, that the necessary COVID-19 quarantine period was the deciding factor in declining the trip that would supposedly include three Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes in Carlo Paalam, Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio.
“There is a problem with quarantine,” said Picson during the online PSA Forum, adding that after the ASBC, the boxers returning to training camp need to spend 14 days in quarantine as part of the health protocols.
“You’ll lose whatever momentum you gained from the bubble (in Laguna) and the training camp, and that sets us back. The decision of the coaches, their recommendation to us is tuloy na lang (to continue) training in Thailand,” added Picson, who was with national team coaches Ronald Chavez and Australian consultant Donald Abnett at the Forum.
From that Thailand contingent, only Junmilardo Ogayre will join the national team in the ASBC set May 21 to June 1, since he will be joining the Philippine Team on its way back home.
Nevertheless, Picson said the national team for the ASBC remains strong led by Eumir Marcial, another boxer in the 75kilogram category that is bound for the Tokyo Olympics on July 23 to August 8.
“We have put together a team, some will come from Manila, some from Baguio, Eumir is training right now in Zamboanga City. They (the boxers for the ASBC) are also candidates for the Southeast Asian Games (in Vietnam), this is a good preparation for them.”
Aside from Marcial and Ogayre (56kg), the other boxers for the ASBC are Josie Gabuco (48kg) and Maricel Dela Torre (60kg) in the women’s division, Mark Lester Durens (49kg), Marvin Tabamo (52kg), Jere Samuel Dela Cruz (60kg) and John Paul Panuayan (60kg).
With them are coaches and officials, which include Roel Velasco, Mitchel Martinez, Joegin Ladon, Marcus Jarwin Manalo and Ludy Therese Ceriales.
Picson said that ABAP received word from Marcial that after the Dubai meet he is joining the national team training camp in Thailand.
“Gusto pumunta ni Eumir sa (Eumir wants to go to) Thailand, and we welcome that. I think it’s a good decision. We tried to get him to Thailand even when he was in the US,” he said.
Picson said that the Thailand Boxing Association is trying to set up a pre-Olympics tournament with the possibility of having not just Asian boxers present, but others from Columbia, Australia, Azerbaijan and probably Cuba.
“That would be good. We hope that Eumir can catch up… the others are doing very well,” said Picson.