The wait is finally over
Taking cue from their teen teammates, the veterans of the Philippine national fencing squad piled up the medals and, in the end, finished the golden drought, as the 2017 Southeast Asian Games continued Tuesday afternoon, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Former University of Santo Tomas standouts Hanniel Abella and Harlene Raguin made it count in the women’s individual epee event.
The two epeeists, unfortunately, faced each other in the semifinals. Nonetheless, that meant a sure finalist from the Philippines. Abella then got the better of Raguin, silver medalist of 2015, to move into the gold medal final.
Abella was eventually stopped in the final against Vietnam to get the silver.
The Nationals, however, did better in the men’s individual foil. Three-time UAAP MVP Nathaniel Perez and UC San Diego alumnus Brennan Louie took advantage of being in opposite halves of the draw to set up a possible gold medal showdown.
The plan worked, as Perez eventually defeated his Singaporean foe and Louie took down a Thai foilist in their respective semifinals matches to arrange the all-Filipino final.
Louie pulled away in the middle portion of the battle for gold to get to within one of the title, 14-11. Perez, however, had other plans, and tied the match at 14. The US-based Filipino then finished the match and ended the country’s gold medal drought.
The nation’s fencers look to finish strong as the women’s sabre and men’s epee events close discipline in this year’s Games.