SURAKARTA, Indonesia—The Philippines reeled early from Thailand’s deadly outside shooting and never recovered to drop a 12-22 decision in the men’s 3×3 wheelchair basketball final in the 11th ASEAN Para Games at the GOR Sritex Arena Sunday.
Deadshot Aekkasit Jumjarean opened with back-to-back shots outside the arc while Kwanchai Pimkorn added a third as the Thais had an early 6-0 salvo that set the tone of the match en route to securing the gold medal in the event making its debut in the games.
Despite the loss, the Filipinos, who also lost 7-21 to Thailand in the preliminaries earlier in the day, settled for silver for the country’s first medal in the sportsfest featuring the region’s best para athletes.
Earlier, the Filipinos clobbered Cambodians, 20-4, in their other preliminary match in setting up a rematch with their Thai tormentors in the battle for the gold.
The women’s wheelchair squad lost to Laos 0-4 in the match for the bronze medal while Cambodia upset Thailand 7-5 in the finals in securing the gold on the distaff side.
“Thailand is really known for its outside shooting and although we prepared for it we did not expect them to be that hot early,” national coach Vernon Perea said. “We are very happy to win the first medal for the Philippines and thankful for the opportunity and hope that this will spark our drive for more medals.”
Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo, who witnessed the championship match, congratulated the players.
“This is the first 3×3 men’s wheelchair squad we’ve ever had and happy with this finish,” Barredo said.
The country was also off to a good start in chess as the trio of FIDE Master Sander Severino, National Master Henry Roger Lopez and NM Jasper Rom beat their separate rivals in the opening round of the men’s individual standard P1 at the Lo-rin Hotel.
Severino and Lopez topped Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Quan and Nguyen Than Tuan, respectively, while Rom turned the table on Cambodia’s Chea Sideth in securing their first full point each in the competition.
Over at the UNS Sports Center, Myanmar outplayed the Philippines 16-11 in goalball while their men’s sitting volleyball counterparts also fell in straight sets 9-25, 8-25, 11-25 to Cambodia at the GOR UTP courts.
In badminton at the Edutorium UMS, Jestonie Rosalita lost to Indonesia’s Agung Widodo 5-21, 12-21 in the men’s WH1 while Joseph Asoque took a 3-21, 7-21 beating to hometown bet Supriadi in men’s WH2 in their opening singles matches.