Monday, December 28, 2009

Mabinay’s Pabalate Gets SEAG Muay Silver By: James U. Sy Jr.

Romnick Pabalate of Mabinay, Oriental Negros took home a silver medal in the flyweight division of the Muay Thai event of the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in December 2009 in Vientiane, Laos,

Pabalate knocked down his Burmese opponent in less than two minutes of the first round in his semi-final bout. He, however, bowed to Thongbang Seuaphom of Laos in the championship match.

The Philippine Muay Team that competed in the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games took home a 1-3-5 medal haul, beating their 0-5-5 performance in the 24th SEA Games in 2007 in Thailand.

Zaidi Laruan, 5’7”, defeated Vixay Bounthavy of Laos in their bout at the Beung Kha Ngong Sports Centre to claim the gold in the lightweight division. He was the lone gold medalist of the Philippine Muay Team.

Jonathan Suello Polosan lost the championship crown to Weerapon Kwangkhwang of Thailand while Roland Claro light flyweight gave way to Soukanh of Lao in the finals. 23rd SEA Games and 2008 World Muay Thai champion Roland Claro of Zamboanga City also settled for the silver in the light flyweight division.

Those wjho got bronze for the Philippines were Harold Gregorio (welterweight), May Libao (pinweight), Preciosa Ocaya (flyweight), and Ana Marie Rey (bantamweight), and Maricel Subang (light flyweight).

Pabalate, in his international debut, outpointed Jakkapol Khamollakhorn of Thailand to be crowned champion of the 48 Kg. division during the Asian Muay Thai Championship in India. He was a bronze medalist in the 24th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2007 in Thailand and in the World Muay Championships in 2008 in South Korea.

Pabalate had defeated 2008 world Muay champion Roland Claro of Zamboanga City twice in 2009, during the Battle of the Best in both cases, knocking him out in the first and outpointing him in their next meeting.

Pabalate, a native of the Municipality of Mabinay in Oriental Negros, was trained by Kru Ike Xavier S. Villaflores at the Dumaguete Muay Association before he was given a break to be a member of the Philippine Muay Thai Team. He won the lone gold for Dumaguete City at the Visayas Amateur Muay Thai Championships organized by the Muay Association of the Philippines (MAP) in cooperation with the Larena LGU on April 28-29, 2005 in Larena, Siquijor.

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