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Obiena claims first PH gold in Asian Games

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.

GOLDEN LEAP. Ernest John Obiena wins the Philippines’ first gold medal in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China by clearing 5.90 meters on his second attempt to set a new event record. AFP

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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