HANGZHOU, China—Ernest John Obiena claimed the Philippines’ first gold medal in the 19th Asian Games on Saturday, clearing 5.90 meters to set a new event record in the pole vault and bringing life back to the Filipinos’ faltering campaign so far.
Elsewhere, boxer Carlo Paalam remained on track for an Olympic return and a gold medal as he outclassed a game Uulu Munarbek Seiitbek of Kyrgyzstan.
Paalam, the Tokyo Olympic silver medal winner, hacked out a 4-1 decision against Seiitbek in an action-packed bout at 57kg to book a berth in the quarterfinals.
In basketball, Gilas Pilipinas lost to Jordan, 87-62, no thanks to Philippine Basketball Association import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who ironically will return to the country to don the colors of TNT.
The loss has Gilas playing an extra game to clinch a quarterfinal berth, instead of a direct ticket to the Final 8 had it won against the Hollis-Jefferson-led Jordanians (see full story).
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