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Palarong Pambansa 2024: Cebu pugs more than ready to trade punches

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | July 10,2024 - 09:53 PM

Palarong Pambansa boxing

(Left to Right) Carl Simbajon, Justin Balbarino, and Fredrich Locsin. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Four of Central Visayas’ bets in Palarong Pambansa‘s boxing event are ready to wage war in the ring as the competition officially starts tomorrow, July 11, at the Cebu Coliseum.

They are Carl Jan Simbajon, Justin Balbarino, Fredrich Locsin, and Cris Ivhan Espina who will carry Central Visayas’ flag in the boxing event.

No less than veteran boxing trainer and international matchmaker Edito Villamor and Cebu City grassroots trainer Ryan Illustrisimo trained these pugs in time for the national games.

READ: Palarong Pambansa 2024: LIVE UPDATES

In an interview with CDN Digital, these four Cebuano boxers said that they are more than ready to trade leathers with some of the country’s best student-athlete boxers in the five-day meet.

Simbajon will compete in the 44-46 kilogram junior boys division, while Balbarino vies in the 48-51 kgs youth boys. Locsin will try his luck in the 46-48 kgs junior boys, and Espina in the 46-48 kgs school boys.

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Simbajon, Balbarino, and Locsin are amateur boxers from the Villamor Boxing Gym in Mandaue City. All of them are thankful for the rare opportunity to compete in the Palarong Pambansa.

“Nag pasalamat mi kay usa mi sa naka sulod ani duwaa ug nag pasalamat mi ni coach Edito Villamor kay siya ang dalan nga kami ni abot aning duwaa Kay kong Wala sya wla pud mi,” said Locsin.

READ: Marcos commends Cebu City’s hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2024

For their part, Simbajon and Balbarino both agreed that hard work and discipline would be their key to winning the elusive gold medal in the meet.

“Kugi lang gyud ug disiplina sa kaugalingon. Mo sakripisyo lang gyud ug dako para ani nga event,” said Simbajon.

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“Kumpyansa ra mi makadaog tungod kay dili lalim ang kalisud ug kahago nga among gibuhat sa among training.”

Palarong Pambansa boxing

Chris Ivan Espina (left) and his trainer Ryan Illustrisimo. | Contributed photo


On the other hand, Espina expressed his excitement to compete in the Palarong Pambansa for the first time, especially since it will be held in his hometown, Cebu City. Espina is the prized boxer of Illustrisimo.

READ: Palarong Pambansa 2024: Here are some tips for spectators

“Sobra ko ka excited nga diri duwaon Ang Palaro sa Cebu kay maka tan-aw akong pamilya ug akong mga amigo, sa akong duwa,” said Espina of Barangay Mambaling, here.

“No mercy gyud ni, ug akong buhaton akong makaya para mo daog, pero respeto gihapon sa akong kontra ig ka human sa duwa.”


Meanwhile, Villamor and Illustrisimo see that homecourt advantage will be their edge to win the coveted gold medal in Palarong Pambansa.

“Dako tag advantage kay ang kumpyansa sa bata nagagikan sa iyahang pamilya hilabi na parents and also iyahang mga siblings nga maoy muhatag ug additional boost niya,” said Villamor, a former world title challenger and former chief trainer of the famed ALA Boxing Gym.

For Illustrisimo, his best tip for Espina is to focus and listen to him. Most importantly trust in his faith.

“Focus lang sa dula ug maminaw sa corner sa coach, most importantly, salig sa kaugalingon ug hilabi na sa Ginoo,” said Illustrisimo.

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TAGS: boxing, cebu sports news, Palarong Pambansa 2024

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