Photo from Nesthy Petecio

Tokyo Olympics hopeful Nesthy Petecio calls her best friend, the one she trusts whether they do something serious or funny, the person she wants to take care of her baby – if the time comes.

But that one person is gone now. Gone too soon.

Alexcel Dargantes, 24, passed away Saturday evening, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) announced Monday. She was a member of the ABAP women’s team from 2013-2017.

Petecio, who has been in the training camp bubble in Laguna since last month, expressed her pain and sorrow in Facebook posts since Saturday, as well as her stories of friendship with Dargantes.

“Ang sakit pa din buddy! (It’s still painful, buddy),” said Petecio, who is hoping to qualify for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“Sa bawat pagsuntok ko sa training kanina sumasabay luha ko. Gusto ko huminto, gusto ko umiyak na lang pero sabi mo nga, gusto mo makita ako sa Olympics na mag laro di ba (In every punch in training, it also comes with tears. I want to stop, I want to cry but as you have said, you want to see me play in the Olympics right)?”

“Rest in paradise buddy Alexcel Dargantes ILOVEYOU!!” added Petecio.

Dargantes hails from General Santos City but had stayed on in Baguio, where the Boxing Training Center was, until her untimely demise.

ABAP president Ricky Vargas expressed sorrow at Dargantes’ passing. He also assured that the association would take care of the arrangements and expenses of bringing the remains back to her hometown in Mindanao.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson also coordinated with Philippine Sports Commission executive Marc Velasco who assured that the PSC would also provide financial assistance for the former national athlete’s funeral arrangements.

Petecio said that Dargantes has not returned to General Santos City for more than four years.

Source: Manila Bulletin (