By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Four Philippine boxing bets advanced to the semifinals after winning their respective bouts in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum in Pasay City Wednesday.
Josie Gabico won via split decision 4-1 in the 48 kg bout while Aira Villegas and Irish Magno defeated their foes via unanimous decision in the women’s 54kg and 51 kg categories. Carlo Paalam also bested the men’s 48 kg via unanimous decision.
Gabico, 32, had to handle Thai Chuthailan Raksat’s huge and loud supporters to get the nod of the judges, and maintain the chance to gun for her fifth SEA Games gold 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29.
Villegas’ victory came next after defeating Villay Vongphachan of Laos 5-0, highlighted by successive punches with 1 min. and 30 secs left.
Magno, 28, capped off her first bid when after overwhelming Singaporean foe Leon Hui Xin Yee 30-27, 30-26, 30-26, 30-25, 30-25 while Paalam beat Laotian opponent Khamp Khamsathone.
The semifinals continue Friday at the PICC Forum.