Caption: Phillip Delarmino (center) with Muay secretary general Pearl Managuelod (right) and coach Billy Alumno.
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – Filipino Muay Thai fighter Phillip Delarmino advanced to the finals after he scored a 30-27 win over Rusdem Bayramdurdyyew of Turkmenistan in their -57kg semifinals match in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) Wednesday in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Delarmino, a silver medalist in the Asian Beach Games in 2014 and second placer during the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, was the more dominant fighter in the rings, throwing a deluge of punches and kicks that overwhelmed his Turkman opponent and the highly partisan crowd at the Martial Arts Arena here.
The 26-year-old Delarmino from Iloilo City won in all three rounds, which secured him a spot in the finals against Thailand’s Chotichanin Kokkrachai, who entered the championship match by scoring a similar 30-27 victory over Almaz Sarsembekov of Kazakhstan.
The gold medal game is scheduled Thursday evening at the Muay Thai Arena.
“Nahirapan din ako sa kalaban ko, pero effective naman yung game plan namin ni coach (Billy Alumno),” said Delarmino
“Napag-aralan namin (Turmen) dahil sa last two fights ko ganun lang plano ko… clear na kunin namin every round. Mahirap kasi kung dumikit ang laban tapos ang kalaban host country pa,” Delarmino added.
Delarmino said they have studied the moved of his Thai, and hopes that their strategy would be effective for him to finally secure a gold medal in the sport that Thailand invented.
“Nakita na namin mga laban nya (Kokkrachai), meron kaming gameplan para sa kanya. Kaya naman, Sana makuha natin yung gold sa finals,” said Delarmino, who reached the quarterfinals in last August’s Muay World Games in Poland.
The Philippines is running 13th overall with a medal count of 2 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals.
The fighters from taekwondo and belt wrestling settled for a bronze each after Francis Aaron Agojo lost to Jang Jun of South Korea (34-9) in the -58kg semifinals, while Jefferson Manatad fell to Kazakhstan’s Aldos Kulmanbetov (5-0) in the -80kg Classic Style final four.
Kurash grappler Al Rolan Llamas also settled for a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals against Erkin Omurzakow of Turkmenistan, 10-0, in the men’s -60kg weight class.
Wrestlers Noemi Tener (women’s classic style -60kg), Grace Loberanes (-50kg), Michael Vijay Cater (men’s classic style -55kg), Christof Hofmann Jr. (-90kg) and Jonathan Maquilan (-65kg) didn’t make it to the medal rounds.
Dessa Delos Santos wound up fifth in the women’s weightlifting following a combined lift of 184kg in the women’s 58kg division.
Luo Xiaomin of China (222kg) won the gold medal followed by second-placer Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan (212kg) and bronze performer Acchedya Jagaddhita of Indonesia (204kg).