DECEMBER 9, 2019: Philippines' Rogen Ladon fights with Thailand's Yaodam Ammarit during the 30th South East Asian Games 2019 Men's Flyweight (52 kg). INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

FILE– Philippines’ Rogen Ladon. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

HANOI—If Rogen Ladon and Irish Magno need any reminders about how difficult the last hurdle to a gold medal will be, they only need to look within their team.

Late Friday night, Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio lost in a stunning upset to Thi Linh Tran of Vietnam in the semifinal of the 57-60 kilogram women’s boxing in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at Bac Ninh Stadium.

But there may have been more to the defeat of the second best featherweight in the Tokyo Games, though.

“That decision on Josie and Nesthy, I’d like to think the judges were persuaded by the shouting of the crowd but that’s still unacceptable,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ed Picson, who was also referring to the loss of defending champion Josie Gabuco to Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksa.

“We expected better results but there were several factors that came into play,” added Picson.

Those factors will come into play again as Ladon and Magno, a Tokyo Olympian, will try to snatch golds from the jaws of the dangerous host nation.

Ladon will fight Tran van Thao, who is already dabbling in the professional ranks. Magno will take on reigning champ Nguyen Thi Tam who defeated her during the 2019 SEA Games.

Also gunning for a gold is Eumir Marcial, who faces a lefty knockout artist in the middleweight final.

“I like my chances now because I have been training against southpaws,” said the Olympic bronze winner of his men’s 75-kg final bout against East Timorese slugger Delio Anzaqeci.

Ian Clark Bautista, meanwhile, will bang it out with Naing Latt of Myanmar in the final of the men’s 57-kg division.

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