PH underwater hockey team vies for four gold medals at SEAG
UNDERWATER hockey is making its debut in the 30th Southeast Asian Games and the Philippine team strives to make a splash when the biennial meet arrives at our shores.
Dennis Valdes, president of the Philippine Underwater Hockey Federation, has noted his team’s hard work and dedication and hopes these can be translated into medals.
“I believe the Philippine UWH Team will do very well at the SEA Games. I am personally hoping to get four gold medals out of the four events. Of course, this cannot be guaranteed, but our athletes are training very hard for this goal,” said Valdes.
Also known as Octopush, underwater hockey is a sport in which two teams compete to drive a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal by propelling it with a hockey stick.
Four gold medals are at stake in the men’s 4×4 and 6×6, and women’s 4×4 and 6×6 competition categories set on December 2 and 3 at the New Clark City in Tarlac.
“At the beginning of our SEAG journey last December, I told the prospective athletes that I want one year of their lives. This has not been an exaggeration. All have sacrificed an enormous amount of time this year. They have had to ask their families for understanding, their bosses at work for support, and most importantly, their own selves for the drive and capacity to keep training for an entire year just to peak during the week of SEAG,” the UWH official revealed.
In order to ramp up the training of the underwater hockey players, the federation sent them to the Australian Underwater Hockey National Championships in Cairns, Australia, where PH top athlete Christian Policarpio played under the New South Wales Men’s Masters team.
“For the Men’s Team, we have high hopes for our forward Topz Policarpo. For the Women’s Team, it’s our forward, Nadj Buenafe. We hope that both will score a lot of goals for Team Philippines,” added Valdes.
The teams’ overseas exposures have been coupled with their continuous training, aided by coaches the Philippine Sports Commission has provided.
“It is our duty to ensure that our athletes, especially those training for the nearest competition in the calendar, which is the SEAG, get ample time to train both at home and overseas,” PSC Chairman William Ramirez said.
“The Philippine underwater hockey squad could be new, but its members have shown dedication to their sport and we will count on them to give our fellow Philippines big things to cheer on,” Ramirez added.
The men’s team is expected to mix it up in the gold medal running, while the women’s team is the team to beat after winning the Asian Championships twice.
“The preparation for the SEAG has been an incredible journey for the athletes, plus all the people around them, who are so supportive of their efforts. Looking back at the year, I can say that whatever happens during the SEA Games, all can be assured that Team PHI did everything possible to attain the golds. We all trained, we all got support, we all gave what we could. We hope that all that is good enough to attain four golds,” Valdes shared.
Furthermore, the UWH official expects Singapore to be their toughest opponent, although Indonesia and Malaysia are also known to give their best. (pr)
PH Archers intensifies training for three major competitions
The Philippine National Archery team is gearing up for three major tournaments in the next two months.
The 16-man archery team has intensified its training in preparation for the Asian Championships and the Continental Olympic Qualifier next month and the 30th South East Asian Games (SEA Games) in December.
The whole squad has been in a camp at the F.R. Sevilla Archery Range in Novaliches, Quezon City since September right after the Asia Cup, which also served as the Sea Games Archery test event, in Clark, Pampanga.
The Pinoy Archers have been undergoing daily rigid training and weekly evaluation under the watchful eyes of national coaches Clint Sayo, Joy Marino and Foreign coach Chong Yap Lee of Malaysia.
Archery’s Secretary General Ròsendo Sombrio noted that the athletes continue to improve on their scores as the competitions draw near.
Sombrio said that with the full support of the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Archery Team will have a two week international training camp from November 6-21 in Bangkok Thailand, where the Asian Championships and the Continental Olympic Qualifier are also set to take place on November 22-29.
“It is our duty to support the national athletes. The archery team is also a recipient of the PSC’s support as we prepare for the country’s hosting of the SEA Games in November to December,” PSC Chairman Willam Ramirez said.
The men’s recurve team is composed of Luis Gabriel Moreno, Florante Matan, Jason Feliciano, and Carson Hastie while the distaff side is made up of Kareel Meer Hongitan, Pia Elizabeth Bidaure, Gabrielle Monica Bidaure and Phoebe Amistoso.
The men’s compound team includes Paul Marton Dela Cruz, Johann Olano, Arnold Rojas and Robert Badiola while Jennifer Chan, Andrea Robles, Rachelle Anne Dela Cruz and Abigail Tindugan make up the women’s compound team.
The 30th Sea Games will be held from November 30 to December 11.(pr)
JAVEE Mocon continued to make a statement after a second straight PBA semifinals stint.
The Rain or Shine rookie played a key role in the team making deep into the playoffs of the Commissioner’s Cup despite a late import woes in the eliminations that relegated the Elasto Painters as the sixth-seeded team heading to the quarterfinals.
In 10 games dating back from the stretch run of the elims all the way to the semis, Mocon averaged 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists as the Elasto Painters stayed at .500 mark with an even 5-5 (win-loss record).
The crucial job the former San Beda star did in helping Rain or Shine secured a second consecutive semifinals berth this season earned for him the PBA Press Corps Rookie of the Month for July.
The sixth pick in last year’s rookie draft was the unanimous choice by 10 press corps members who managed to cast their votes for the monthly plum.
It was the third time Mocon earned Rookie of the Month honor after likewise being named last February and April.
Other candidates for the honor include Bobby Ray Parks of Blackwater, CJ Perez of Columbian Dyip, and NorthPort’s Robert Bolick.
Of the four, Perez, last year’s top overall pick, had the best average for July with 22.3 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. Unfortunately, the Dyip fell short again of making the playoffs.
Parks, the no. 2 draft pick, steered the Elite to a 3-3 record as the third seeded team – the highest elimination round finish in franchise history – with averages of 20.2ppg. 7.8rpg. and 3.3aspg.
But Parks and the Elite were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Mocon and the Elasto Painters, losing the decisive Game 3 of their series, 85-83.
NorthPort also achieved a first franchise best of ending as the no. 2 seeded team going to the playoffs behind Bolick’s 18 ppg. 5.0 aspg. and 3.5 rpg.
The Batang Pier however, failed to take advantage of their twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs after losing to the San Miguel Beermen.(pr)
Philam Life 7s Football League Season 3 Match Day 8: Real Amigos Upset Super Eagles, Ghana F.C. Remains Undefeated
Women: Sugod Malaya, The Younghusband Football Academy, Nomads, Bohemian Sporting Club Notch Key Wins
TAGUIG CITY (24 March 2019) – Football fans were in for a treat Match Day 8 of the Season 3 Philam Life 7s Football League, 7s Women’s League and 7s Youth League at the McKinley Hill Stadium.
Real Amigos was able to pull off a stunner against defending champions Super Eagles, while Ghana F.C. remains unscathed with their latest win. H&J All-Stars, Delimondo-Laro, Superbad, and Futbol Funatics have tallied key wins as well as they try to stay afloat in the win-loss column.
In what was without a doubt the highlight of the day, the Real Amigos wielded the upset axe by stunning the previously-undefeated Super Eagles, 3-1. Newcomer Firat Sen made his presence felt in the ball game, deflecting goal attempts left and right to preserve the victory. He explained that his familiarity with most of the guys gave him an advantage, despite playing only his first game this season.
“It’s my first game but I’ve been playing with these guys. I know their style of play, because we were already together before. Knowing them makes it easy for me to stop them,” explained Sen.
Coach Lerche Njang was visibly happy post game as it somehow felt like winning a title. However, he continues to remind his wards to always focus at the task hand as they gun for more wins.
“It was [like] the finals for us. It was the best win and it feels good. To win against the defending champions is the best thing that could happen,” beamed Njang.
The H&J All-Stars were able to beat Stallion-Laguna in convincing fashion. After being down 0-2 in the first few minutes, the team was able to tie the score come half time. From there, they never looked back as they ended with a 5-2 victory.
Striker Alex Elnar credits their success to their overall positive spirit and to their key adjustments in the second half.
“We’re very positive, everyone was giving their thoughts on how we were doing [at first]. We implemented our adjustments in the second half, and we played really good football. In the second half, we made three goals and overall it was a good game,” said Elnar.
On the other hand, Delimondo-Laro F.C. also got their fifth victory of the season by outlasting a gritty Tondo F.C. squad, 3-1. Despite the final score, Daniel Peters mentioned that it was closer than the tally suggests, and he further credited the Manila-based squad for their toughness.
“Yeah, they’re definitely a very tough side. The boys, they fight and they’re really tough – it comes out in the way that they play. It’s always fun to play against opponents like that when you’re in for a really tough game,” bared Peters.
Superbad notched its second win in a row after defeating Matu Deportivo, 4-1. Dealing with missing some key personnel particularly on defense, Iggy Halili stepped up to be the team’s goalkeeper, making the win much more satisfying for him and the club. He also mentioned that the team’s chemistry has been improving day-by-day, which bodes well for the squad.
“We were actually worried before the start of the game because we were only six players 20 minutes before kick-off. I had to step up for the team and player as the keeper. Luckily, it didn’t show in the performance of the boys for today. Eight weeks in, the chemistry is getting there. We’ve been through the toughest teams and we’re trying to capitalize the next few weeks to try climb up to the standings,” said Halili.
Meanwhile, the Futbol Funatics made up for their tough loss last week by beating Ceres-Negros Youth F.C., 2-1. Abel Gboko has been the team’s offensive linchpin, chipping in one goal and one assist. Playing with a sense of urgency, the Futbol Funatics were able to come out with great energy leading to the victory. With this win, they hope to carry over the momentum in the regular season’s final three games.
“Coach told us to work hard and our heads were like, ‘we need to win the game. We really had to win and to push really hard for this game,” said Gboko.
“I think may three games pa kaming natira. Work hard lang talaga sa three games na ‘yun. Fighting spirit with the team – win or lose, we are a family here,” shared forward Vincent Aceberos.
Rounding out the match day is the tight contest between Ghana F.C. and Bohemian S.C., where the former eked out a crucial 2-1 win. The victory propelled Ghana F.C. at the top standings as they’ve already won eight straight fixtures with no losses. Furthermore, Coach Ayi Bimbo was wary about complacency, and that he would rather focus on the team’s overall improvement rather than the outside noise.
“If you would remember, I told you that we’re not thinking about any of those teams. They are none of our business and we’re just playing and being ourselves. This is a comfortable lead for us. We’re taking over and we plan on continuing to sit at the top,” bared Bimbo.
In the 7s Women’s Football League, The Younghusband Football Academy, Nomads, Bohemian S.C., and Sugod Malaya all ended the night with 2-1 records, thanks to their respective victories.
In a game that went the distance, it was the Younghusband Football Academy that came out on top, 5-4 (via penalty). Head coach Roberto Caboral was highly complimentary to his girls for playing the right way, which is something he has emphasized to them ever since.
“Di namin na-expect na mananalo kami pero sabi ko sa mga players to give their best para makuha natin itong game. Mag-enjoy sila, pero magfocus din sila sa game,” said Coach Roberto Caboral.
Nomads F.C. was able to turn in a clean sheet by defeating Payatas F.C., 3-0. Coach Shane Cosgrove was more than pleased to see the progress his wards have shown in the past few weeks and they plan to carry the momentum moving forward.
“This win is good for the girls’ confidence. The players who came in today did a really good job. We didn’t want to concede today, and we defended better this week than last week,” mentioned Cosgrove.
“In Nomads, we really have good chemistry because we’ve been playing for long. Even if we have new players, individually, I think we’re all really good,” added forward Andie Tiongson.
In the third fixture, the Bohemian S.C. was able to win over Payatas F.C., 3-1. Cathy Aihunu, who was the team’s hero last game, turned in another great offensive performance – chipping in two goals. This proved to be a step in the right direction for Bohemian and being consistent with their efforts will be vital to their success.
“We just have to keep winning and we really have to step our game up and make sure that from here on out, all the games we just win,” said midfielder Tiffany Faulkner.
Sugod Malaya was able to shock Young Pinay by tallying a clean sheet, 2-0. Sofia Margarse’s brace proved to be the difference in the ball game, and coach Jhoseryll Sajonia was satisfied with the way they all played, especially since they lost the last time around.
“Galing kami sa talo last week kaya pinaghandaan talaga namin ito. Nakita namin sa standings na ‘yung team na ito, sila ‘yung Top 1 kaya pinaghandaan namin talaga sila,” said Sajonia.
In the 7s Youth League, Bohemian S.C. and Nomads have notched great wins in various age brackets.
In the U9 division, Bohemian S.C. have posted clean sheets against Aspire (4-0) and Marista (8-0). Their U13 counterparts have won against Socceroo (1-0) as well. Nomads also joined in the fray by winning over G8 (4-0), and Socceroo (2-0).
Meanwhile, Caribbean won over Nemesis (1-0), while Sugod Malaya and Xavier both ended their day with a win and a draw.
Here are the complete results for Match Day 8:
7s Youth League
Aspire 2, G8 0
Bohemian 4, Aspire 0
Nomads 4, G8 0
Bannister 2, Mondo 0
Bohemian 8, Marista 0
Nomads 2, Socceroo 0
Bannister 3, Marista 2
Aspire 5, Socceroo 0
Bohemian 1, Socceroo 0
Nomads 0, Bannister 0
Caribbean 1, Nemesis 0
Sugod Malaya 2, Loyola 1
Loyola 1, Nemesis 0
Sugod Malaya 1, Bohemian 1
Xavier 2, Socceroo 2
Xavier 2, Nomads 0
7s Women’s Football League
The Younghusband Football Academy 5, Stallion-Hiraya F.C. 4 (4-4 regulation; 1-0 penalties)
Nomads 3, Payatas F.C. 0
Bohemian S.C. 3, Outkast F.C. 1
Sugod Malaya 2, Young Pinay 0
Philam Life 7s Football League Men
H&J All-Stars 5, Stallions Laguna 2
Delimondo-Laro F.C 3, Tondo F.C. 1
Real Amigos 3, Super Eagles 1
Superbad 4, Matu Deportivo 1
Futbol Funatics 2, Ceres F.C. 1
Ghana F.C. 2, Bohemian S.C. 1
About Philam Life 7s Football League:
The Philam Life 7s Football League is the country’s flagship seven-a-side football competition.
Founded by former long-time Philippine Azkals defender and influencer Anton del Rosario, the league aims to provide a premier competition for footballers around the nation, groom players for possible international competitions, and develop talents from the grassroots level all the way to top-caliber level.
The third season is the biggest so far in 7s FL’s early existence, as the league was able to draw a record 12 teams in the men’s seniors division while introducing the inaugural 7s Youth Football League and Women’s 7s Football League.
The Season 3 Philam Life 7s Football League is presented by Philam Life, Megaworld, The Belle and Dragon, Delimondo, Skull Candy, Mizuno, Jollibee, Bootcamp, and Downy Sports with ESPN 5 and Manila Bulletin as its media partners.