PHNOM PENH. — A silver and a bronze raised hopes of a decent finish for the Philippines in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games swimming competition last Saturday at the Morodok Techo Sports Complex here.

The men’s team had a promising start after Jerard Jacinto copped the bronze in the 100m backstroke with a time of 55.99, breaking his own national record of 56.27 set in the 2019 World Junior Championships.

Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen ruled the event in 55.22, while Indonesia’s Farrel Armandio Tangkas clocked 55.80 for the silver.

Mr. Jacinto’s bronze is the men’s squad’s first medal since the 2019 SEA Games after it was left holding an empty bag in Vietnam, where the Philippines finished last in swimming with one gold, three silvers, and three bronzes — all coming from the women’s crew.

“I think it’s a very good sign,” said national head coach Archie Lim. “It shows that if you really try, if you really push it, there’s always a chance. It shows that he took a chance and got a medal.”

The quartet of Teia Salvino, Miranda Renner, Xiandi Chua, and Jasmine Alkhaldi ended the day on a high by taking the silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle, clocking 3:47.96.

Singapore finished over two seconds faster at 3:44.29 for the gold, while Thailand bagged the bronze in 3.50.01.

Mr. Lim said the four exceeded expectations in the event where the country failed to medal last year.

“They won a silver as a group, so we’re hoping that it serves as a motivation in the next few days that if we really just work together and really try hard, there’s always a chance to get a medal,” said Mr. Lim.

Medals in the men’s 50m backstroke, men’s 100m breaststroke, men’s 50m freestyle, men’s 4×200 freestyle relay, women’s 50m backstroke, women’s 200m freestyle, and women’s 200m individual medley were being disputed Sunday. — Jun Lomibao