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Marcial beefs up SEAG squad

Felix Eumir Marcial is being recalled to beef up the boxing team in its bid to retain the overall crown in the 29th Southeast Asian Games next month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Marcial, who earned a slot in the 2017 World Championships in Germany also set next month, was included on the five-man team to the Aug. 19-31 SEAG by the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP).

The Philippines is the defending champion in the SEAG after capturing five gold medals two years ago in Singapore.

Now that Marcial, the 2009 world junior champion, is out of the world championships, scheduled Aug. 25 to Sept. 3 in the port city of Hamburg, the ABAP will lean on veteran light-fly Rogen Ladon and fly Daniel Maamo.

Thailand will be the Philippines’ toughest rival in the biennial meet although Indonesia, another major player in the regional meet, and host Malaysia, could also pull off surprises.

Two years ago in Qatar, Ladon took the bronze medal.

Last year, Ladon also represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympics but failed to advance in the medal round.

Although the SEAG is a major event for the Philippines, the world championships carries more weight internationally owing to the quality of the entries.

The decision to tap Marcial for the SEAG appears in line with the country’s quest to win improve on its lowly sixth-place finish in 2015 when it only brought home 29 golds.