By Waylon Galvez

Filipino bet Hanniel Abella fell short on her bid to win the national team’s first gold in fencing as she dropped a 15-12 decision to Singapore’s Rahm Abella in the epee final of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Wednesday night at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

041219 SEAG SKATEBOARDING FENCING EPEE 04 riodeluvio copy 640x315 - SEA Games: Hanniel Abella settles for fencing silver medal

Philippines’ Haniel Abella (left) loses to Singapore’s Abdul Rahman Kiria in the Fencing Individual Epee finals at World Trade Center, December 4, 2019 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Canon 1DX Mark II 70-200mm f2.8 lens)

Abella fell behind 6-3 in the first round, and 13-6 in the second, but rallied to trim the deficit 14-12 late in the third round. But the Singaporean foiled the local bet’s comeback bid when she connected the winning point.

“Kinapos siya at nahirapan against sa Singaporean,” said national fencing team’s assistant coach Arman Bernal. “ Pero nabalikan niya iyung nakalaban niya for the gold in 2017.”

Bernal is referring to Nhu Hoa Nguyen of Vietnam, whom she downed in the semifinals 15-10. Abdul defeated compatriot Cheryl Lim in the other semifinal match 15-10.

Abella’s silver is the second for the country after Christian Concepcion lost to Vietnam’s Vu Thanh An 15-13 in a tightly contested final in the men’s individual sabre.

The national team also claimed its second bronze medal courtesy of Nathaniel Perez.

Perez lost to Hans Yoong in the semifinals 15-11 of the men’s individual foil, joining Samantha Catantan, who got the bronze last Tuesday in the individual women’s foil event.

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