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Arnis gives Team Philippines five gold medals in SEA Games return
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Arnis gives Team Philippines five gold medals in SEA Games return

NEW CLARK CITY, December 2 ------ Arnis made an immediate impact in its return to the Southeast Asian Games. The host completed a four-gold sweep in the men's side on the first day of competition in the event considered as the national sport of the Philippines. Dexler Bolambao got the Filipinos’ campaign going after topping the men’s bantamweight category (55 kg) during the afternoon finals at the Angeles University Foundation. Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino and Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation president and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri were part of the large crowd that welcomed back arnis since last being held in 2005 when the country also hosted the SEA Games.

Nino Mark Taledo later followed suit by bagging the gold in the men’s featherweight class (+55-60 kg) over Van Kein Vu of Vietnam. Villardo Cunamay won a third gold for the country in the men’s lightweight category (+60-65 kg), before Mike Banares capped a fruitful day for the host with yet another gold in the welterweight class (+65 kg). Later in the night, Jezebel Morcillo won the first gold medal in the distaff side by ruling the bantamweight class. The Filipinos aren't finished yet as there are two more days left in the competition. The country emerged co-champions with Vietnam in arnis during the 2005 edition of the biennial meet, each with three golds and three silvers.

Source: spin.ph