The Philippines shocked Myanmar, 12-21, 21-17, 21-17, to rule the 31st King’s Cup World Sepak Takraw Championships late Friday in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Philippine men’s team, composed of Jason Huerte, Rheyjey Ortouste and Mark Gonzales, is the first Filipino sepak takraw squad to win a world title.
“It didn’t take overnight work for this. The players and coaches worked so hard, given limited resources and never gave up,” said Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association (PASTA) secretary-general Karen Caballero in an interview with The Manila Times on Saturday.
The Philippines notched a shock 15-21, 22-20, 21-19 over World No. 1 Thailand in the semifinals.
Caballero said that they could have won more plums for the Philippines if only they were given much needed support.
The Philippine team will be bringing home one gold medal, one silver medal and one bronze medal after topping the Men and Women Hoop Takraw categories, respectively.
Caballero said the team would take a break before engaging in a series of activities until the year ends.
She added that they are now setting their sights on the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, the 2017 King’s Cup and the 2018 Asian Games.
The team will also travel around the country for exhibition games to promote the sport.
Besides Huerte, Ortouste, and Gonzales, the other members of the Philippine contingent were Ronsited Gabayeron, Emmanuel Escote, Reznan Pabriga, John Jeffret Morcillos, John Bobier, JC Lee, Alvin Pangan, Joeart Jumawan, Rhemwil Catana, Deseree Autor, Gelyn Evora, Josefina Maat, Mary Ann Lopez, Rizzalyn Amolacion, and Kristel Carloman.
PASTA is the national sports association of sepak takraw in the Philippines. Sepak takraw is a native Southeast Asian sport that use a rattan ball. It resembles volleyball except that its players use their feet, knee, chest and head to maneuver the ball.