A five-man Philippine muaythai team will pit skills against regional rivals in the 2016 Asian Beach Games (ABG) set from September 24 to October 5 in Danang, Vietnam.
“We are very hopeful and confident that our players will bring pride to our country,” Muaythai Association of the Philippines Pearl Managuelod told The Manila Times.
Managuelod said that the team, headed by lead coach Roland Claro with fighters Arlyn Ranes, Peter Mark Bayaras, Jonathan Polosan, Philip Delarmino and playing coach Jay Harold Gregorio, was already in Vietnam.
Ranes will see action in the women’s flyweight weight (48 – 51 kg) class, Delarmino in men’s bantamweight (51-54kg), Polosan in light welterweight (60-63.5kg), Bayaras in featherweight (54-57kg), and Gregorio in middleweight (71-75kg).
“Our trainings are rigid. The players are in good condition also and ready to play in Vietnam,” said Claro of his wards.
“My fighters are 101 percent ready to snatch a gold medal for the Philippines,” he added.
Before leaving for Vietnam on Sunday, the team went through cross-gym sparring sessions to familiarize the fighters with other techniques.
The total number of the Philippine contingent to the ABG is 72.
Besides muaythai, the Philippines has also athletes in marathon swimming, volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, sepak takraw, wrestling, jiujitsu, kurash, pencak silat, beach rowing and athletics. Among the most notable Filipino athletes competing are Olympian trackster Marestella Torres-Sunang and swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna.
Chef-de-mission Karen Caballero expressed high hopes that the country will surpass its three-gold, two-silver, seven-bronze medal output in the 2014 edition of the meet.
The ABG is multi-sport meet held every two years among Asian countries.