Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association (PASTA) president Karen Tanchanco-Caballero is optimistic the national team will win a medal in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games slated on August 19 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After an intensive month-long training in Myanmar last May, the national squad, composed of 12 men and five women players, is now currently in Iloilo City for another three months of training for the biennial meet.
“They are all away from their loved ones since April. Our athletes are really warriors and they mean business,” Tanchanco-Caballero told The Manila Times on Saturday.
The top PASTA official admitted that it is a huge a challenge to deliver for the country and their goal is to surpass their previous output of a silver and a bronze in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
The men’s team is preparing to compete in the men’s doubles, men’s regu, men’s chinlone primary and men’s chinlone linking while the women’s team will be playing in the ladies doubles and ladies regu events.
Tanchanco-Caballero said defending champion Myanmar remains the team to beat in the competition along with Vietnam and Thailand.
“We always aim for quality wins every time. We have this state of mind that we should respect the opponent and we don’t relax, be it strong team or not. We are always hungry to win,” said Tanchanco-Caballero.
The team is set to return to Manila on August 8 before departing for Malaysia on August 14.