The Philippine Volcanoes blasted Southeast Asian neighbor Malaysia, 33-0, for their first win in the Asia Rugby Seven Series in Hong Kong Friday night.
The Volcanoes bounced back from tough losses to host, Team Hong Kong, and China by blanking the Malaysians, who fielded their U-20 team while giving their SEA Games team a rest.
The win pushed the Volcanoes to third place in Pool A, putting them in a quarterfinal showdown against South Korea, which placed second in Pool B.
The loss sent Malaysia to a quarterfinal date with Japan, the top team in the other pool.
The other quarterfinal pairings will have Hong Kong battling Chinese Taipei, and China locking horns with Sri Lanka.
“We expect a high level of rugby this weekend. In February it was great to see our combinations come together. Teams will be strong here in Hong Kong. To qualify for the World Cup we have to beat the best in Asia so we can compete against the Worlds best. We are up to the challenge,” shared Bembo Matthews.
The Asia Sevens Series will be held across three legs, with Round 2 in Korea on September 23 to 24 and Round 3 in Sri Lanka on October 14 to 15.
The team is coached by former New Zealand All Black Frano Botica.