TEAM Philippines showed no signs of slowing down Monday after clinching the overall crown, leaving the rest of field in the 30th Southeast Asian Games battling for the crumbs.
On the strength of an 11-gold surge anchored on four in wrestling and three in gymnastic aerobics, Vietnam jacked its total to 75 gold medals, climbing two rungs and taking over second in the leadership ladder.
Thailand also made its move, striking for five victories in boxing and three in archery en route to a 15-gold harvest to move up to third, just a win away from Singapore.
Although it could only manage four golds for the day, Indonesia threatened to make it a four-cornered fight for second with a total of 69 going into the last 52 gold medals staked in the final two days of competitions. Of the 51 golds up for grabs Tuesday, 13 will be disputed in athletics and six in jiujitsu.
With its second overall championship in the bag as early as last Sunday, Team Philippines still went full steam ahead and raked in 21 more gold medals for an imposing 134 total.
Eumir Marcial and Josie Gabuco each stamped their class in the ring as Philippine boxers reaped a total seven out of the 10 finals they were in.
Marcial took just one minute in stopping Vietnam’s Nguyen Cuong Manh and topping the middleweight class.
Earlier, Gabuco became the winningest PHL campaigner in the biennial meet, copping her fifth games gold with a unanimous decision victory over Endang of Indonesia in their light-flyweight class.
Light-flyweight Carlo Paalam started the PHL boxers’ roll by manhandling Indonesia’s Kwangu Langu before announcing he was thinking of moving up to the 52-kg division.
Roger Ladon still rules that roost and stressed that with his own unanimous decision victory over Ammarit Yaodam.
Also registering gold-clinching victories were world champion Nesthy Petecio in the women’s featherweight, lightweight Charly Suarez and welterweight James Palicte.
More golds came from other arenas, led by Maggie Ochoa and Angelo Pena in the under 45kg and Michael Roxas in the U85kg.
Early results in athletics show javelin thrower Melvin Calano and 11m hurdler Kingsley Bautista delivering, as well as windsurfers Yancy Kaibigan (RS-X) and Geylord Coveta (RS: One).
The mixed compound tandem of Anne Rochelle dela Cruz and Paul Marton dela Cruz ended the country’s drought in archery while Jamie Lim marked her comeback to karatedo following a four-year absence with a gold in the women’s 61kg kumite.
Dennis Orcollo battled to billiards’ 10-ball gold while the national team lorded it over in sailing’s keelboat match racing.