The four-man Team Nissan Pilipinas will compete in the Ohana Malaysian Open Doubles Championship starting today until December 18 at the National Squash Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The delegation is composed of 2016 Menpora Kijono Cup champion Jemyca Aribado as well as national mainstays Aysah Dalida, David Pelino and Robert Garcia.
Team Nissan Pilipinas will be competing in the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events.
Though there is no doubles court in the Philippines, the team used a singles court for training.
“We practice doubles in a singles court. I still expect Team Nissan Pilipinas to place and be in the Top 3,” Philippine Squash Academy (PSA) President Robert Bachmann told The Manila Times on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Bachmann launched a fund raising campaign for the team’s trip to Malaysia. Bachmann made the initiative because the tournament is not part of the PSA’s approved budget for 2016. The PSA board was informed of the tournament only in the last week of November.
“The PSA had to first prove that we can make a difference and change the face of the sport of squash, at least, here in the Philippines. I needed one year to affect change. I can say we did,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann is confident that the Philippine Sports Commission board will approve their 2017 budget. The funds according to him will be used to hire a foreign coach, and train athletes in preparation for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.