The Philippine Volcanoes, backed by Globe Telecom are set for the final leg of the Asia Sevens Series this weekend in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
After a successful campaign in February, the Volcanoes bagged a Gold medal in Doha at the Asia Trophy Series. The result guaranteed the men’s national sevens team a position in the top 8 in Asia.
“We achieved our goal in February, a gold medal, we wanted to ensure we always compete with the best teams in the region, this series has shown we deserve to be here” Team Captain Daniel Bembo Matthews shared.
The Volcanoes face another enormous task this weekend as they face Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia in their opening pool matches. The Philippines have selected three new faces for the series, two of which will make their debut for the Volcanoes. Ryan Reyes Howe and Emmanuel Javier Rodriguez will take the field for the Volcanoes for the first time, while Kai Ledesma Stroem is welcomed back from a short stint playing rugby in New Zealand.
“Some exciting new players have been added to the playing roster for this weekend, it’s going to be another test for our team. Ryan and Emmanuel bring speed and Kai beefs up our forward pack” Jake Letts, Head of National Teams for Philippine Rugby shared.
The Volcanoes are aiming for a top 4 finish, a feat they fell devastatingly short in Round 1. “Top 4 is our goal, we lost in overtime in the first leg but it gave us confidence we can compete with the top teams. This what we are aiming for this weekend” shared Head Coach Frano Botica.
The first match will be at 10:52am local time against Hong Kong at Racecourse International Rugby Stadium.
After the Men’s series, Philippine Rugby moves their international focus to its National Youth Programs. The U17 National Women’s team will compete in the Youth Olympic Qualifiers in Dubai in late November while the U19 First Pacific Volcanoes will compete in Division 1 of the Asia Rugby Championships to be held in December.