Hidilyn Diaz (AFP)

Team Philippines got a big lift from Hidilyn Diaz, the Sibol MLBB team and Shugen Nakano after capturing gold medals in weightlifting, esports and judo at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Friday, May 20, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The 31-year-old Diaz extended her reign in the women’s 55kg event, imposing her indomitable will particularly in the clean and jerk to tally the winning total lift of 206 kilograms.

The Tokyo Olympics gold medalist actually trailed Tanasarn Sanikun after the snatch event after lifting only 92 kilos against the Thai’s 93.

But Diaz showed her prowess in clean and jerk, successfully attempting 114 kilos on her first try.

After a lift at 110, Tanasarn tried 114 but failed to finish with a 203 total for the silver medal.

Already assured of the gold medal, Diaz targeted 118 and a new Southeast Asian record in clean and jerk of 121 but stumbled on both attempts.

Meanwhile, the Sibol MLBB team went on full throttle and outplayed Indonesia, 3-1, to also keep its gold medal in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang event.

Jonmar Villaluna, Danerie Del Rosario, Salic Imam, Kyle Soto and Howard Gonzales pulled off a pulsating win in the crunch to give the esports squad its second gold medal in the biennial meet.

Nakano, for his part, prevailed over hometown bet Hoang Phuc Truong, 1-0, to clinch the gold medal in the men’s -66kg.

The Fil-Japanese notched the lone point at the 3:07 mark off a reverse throw to catch Hoang off guard.

This was the second gold medal for the PH judo team following Rena Furukawa’s feat in the women’s -57kg Thursday.

Nakano’s teammate Khrizzie Pabulayan, however, settled for silver in the women’s -52kg.

The PH billiards squad also arranged all-Filipino finals in both the men’s and women’s 10-ball events following semifinal finishes from Rubilen Amit, Chezka Centeno, Carlo Biado and Johann Chua.

Amit blanked Thailand’s Pennipa Nakjui, 7-0, to set up the women’s finals duel with Centeno, who beat Vietnam’s Xuan Vang Bui, 7-5.

Chua, meanwhile, routed Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, 9-2, for the men’s finals match against Biado, who trounced another Singaporean Sayed Sharik, 9-3.

It can be recalled that Chua won the 9-ball gold at the expense of Biado.

In chess, Janelle Mae Frayna yielded to Nguyen Pham Le Thao, 2-0, in the women’s individual blitz finals to settle for a bronze.

Frayna, who finished tied for first with Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite of Indonesia with four points apiece but took the No. 2 seed after tiebreaks, succumbed to pressure and blundered in the endgame during a mad time scramble.

Rubilen Amit, meanwhile, remained on track for a second gold medal after blanking Thailand’s Pennipa Nakjui, 7-0, to advance to the women’s 10-ball singles final.

Junior tennis sensation Alex Eala also fell short of her semifinal campaign and bowed to a more experienced Thai rival in Luksika Kumkhum, 6-4, 6-1, to settle for the bronze medal in the women’s singles.

This was Eala’s third bronze medal after also settling for third in the women’s team event and the mixed doubles with Treat Huey Thursday, May 19.

Eala and Huey bowed to Thai pair Patcharin Cheapchandej and Pruchya Isaro in a three-setter in the semis.

In swimming, Jasmine Alkhaldi capped off the national team’s bid with a bronze in the women’s 100-meter butterfly with a time of one minute and 1.150sec.

The PH swim team managed one gold from Chloe Isleta, three silvers and three bronzes, highlighted by two new national records from Jessica Geriane in the women’s 50m backstroke and Miranda Renner in the women’s 50m butterfly.

The PH taekwondo team also ended its campaign with two gold medals from Kurt Barbosa and Jocelyn Ninobla, while also reaping five silvers and three bronze medals – a far cry from their eight-gold medal haul at the 2019 edition.

Their last medals came from a pair of bronze from Samuel Morrison in the men’s –kyorugi 80kg and Israel Cantos in the men’s kyorugi -87kg.

The Philippines remained at fifth place with 46 gold, 57 silver and 80 bronze medals.

Vietnam still dominates the medal tally with 157 golds, 93 silvers and 89 bronzes, followed by Thailand with 63-70-100 (gold-silver-bronze), Singapore (46-44-58) and Indonesia (44-64-59).

Malaysia is at sixth with 35-40-74, followed by Myanmar (7-12-19), Cambodia (6-9-23), Laos (1-6-22), Brunei (1-1-1) and Timor Leste (0-2-1).

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/05/20/diaz-is-still-seags-best-lifter-sibol-mlbb-nakano-shine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diaz-is-still-seags-best-lifter-sibol-mlbb-nakano-shine)