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Dancesport duo eye return to SEAG after successful brain tumor surgery of Marquez

READY FOR SEAG 2023. The dancing duo of Stephanie Sabalo and Angelo Marquez are back in training and hope to make it to the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh on May 5. Marquez underwent operation to remove a brain tumor in November last year after they qualified for the SEAG during the Philippije Dancesport Competition at the Ultra in Pasig City in late October of last year. Photo by Eliza Consul

Dancesport duo eye return to SEAG after successful brain tumor surgery of Marquez

Multi-Southeast Asian Games gold medalist dancesport partners Michael Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Sabalo are slowly getting back to the sport they love and are now keen on being in top form by May for the biennial sporting event after the former underwent brain surgery in November last year.

“Angelo is very well already,” wrote Baguio raised Sabalo to this writer via Facebook message recently as she said that they “are slowly going back to training.”

“It’s all up to God’s willing if we can make it to (SEAG) competitions,” added the Pines City National High School graduate from Irisan.

“But we are positive with what we are right now,” she added.

“Amum met basta Ilocano palaban (You know Ilocano’s are really combative),” wrote Sabalo.

Marquez underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor after the pair won their events in the Philippine Dancesport Federation National Championship and SEAG Selection on October 29 and 30 held at Ultra in Pasig City.

The pair cancelled all their schedules in the last two months of the year for Marquez to have his meningioma at the Quirino Memorial Hospital removed. Meningomia is the most common type of brain tumor.

The operation had doctors perform an “instrumented repair of the orbital roof (bones where the eye socket is located)” on Marquez who won with wife Sabalo gold medals in the 2019 and 2021 (delayed to 2022) SEAG.

Sabalo wrote on her Facebook wall then: “We apologize for our cancelled competitions and shows and other prior commitments for these month of November and December.”

The cancellation, the couple said, was due to them facing “another battle for our life.”

Marquez was diagnosed with a form of tumor in his brain and the result came after the Hanoi, Vietnam SEAG in May of last year.

Marquez sought for four more other medical opinions “but the diagnosis is still the same.”

He was supposed to undergo surgery on the last week of October but had it moved to November 7 since they were to join in the SEAG qualifier.

Marquez said they had to delay the procedure “since 80 percent of my life I owe to my dancing and being an athlete and so I am thankful that my awesome doctors granted my appeal.”

They added: “Amidst of it all, we had managed to win our Title again as 2022 PH National Champion and 2023 South East Asian Games representative in Cambodia.”

He further wrote: “Together with my better half Steph, we’ve accepted and embrace the reality of our situation silently in the past months and pursued more in our Intentions and purpose as a way to gratify our faith with God.”

The two won gold medals in five dance and paso doble and a silver medal in jive in the 2019. The duo won a gold and two silver medals in the delayed 2021 edition, the gold coming from cha cha cha, while the silver medals came from jive and five dances.

The two hope to make it Phnom Phen on May 5 for the SEAG. Pigeon Lobien

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