THE ASSOCIATION of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) will break in its talented young pugs as it fields in a lean but mean team to the ASBC Asian Under-22 Championships set Jan. 16 to 27 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Heading the cast is Mark Lester Durens, one of the country’s brightest hopes to take over once Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze winner Eumir Marcial hang up their gloves.

Mr. Durens, who will see action in the light flyweight division, made heads turn when he captured a bronze in the ASBC Asian Elite Championships in Dubai two years ago.

Joining him are Aaron Jude Bado (51kg), Flint Jara (54kg), Jericho Acaylar (57kg), Mervin Luck Alcober (60kg), and Mark Ashley Fajardo (63.5kg) in the men’s class, Althea Shine Pores (48kg) and Mariel Talandrata (50kg) in the women’s category.

“Most of them are first timers so the main goal really is to provide them exposure,” said Mr. Manalo.

Mr. Manalo said this eight-strong squad spent the Holiday Season training in mountaintop Baguio. And they hope to reap the fruits of their labor soon.

“These are the future of the national team,” said Mr. Manalo. — Joey Villar