The Philippine national men’s Rugby Sevens team blasted Thailand, 41-7, in the finals to win the Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy competition in Doha, Qatar.
The Volcanoes erected a commanding 29-0 lead at halftime and did not give the Thais to mount the comeback to rule the 10-nation competition in dominating fashion.
Coming out of the first day on top of their pool with dominant wins versus Nepal and Qatar, the Volcanoes started Day 2 of the competition by defeating Iran 42-0 in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal battle with Southeast Asian Games rivals Singapore.
A strong start had Singapore leading the match 10-7, but the Volcanoes kept their composure and produced try by Vincent Amar Young on the final play, ending the match at 12-10.
The narrow win pushed the Philippines into the grand finals against Thailand, which had also yet to drop a game in the competition.
The Philippines’ captain Daniel Bembo Matthews was awarded Most Valuable Player of the competition, while Timothy Bweheni was proclaimed Man of the Match.
“A real team effort to win this tournament. The players put in the hard yards and really played for each other. This win was for all our supporters, we appreciate all the support we have received,” said Matthews.
With this win, the Philippines gains entry back into the Asian Sevens Series (A7S) which is the Rugby Sevens competition among top tier teams in Asia such as Japan, Hong Kong and Korea. The A7S will be played through September and October in Hong Kong, Korea and Sri Lanka.
“It’s been an amazing start to 2017, very proud of the coaching staff and the players. It sets the foundation for our Southeast Asian Games preparation also. Having support from both Globe Telecom and the PSC allows our preparation to be where it needs to be to perform at the top in Asia,” said Letts, national teams head of the PRFU.
The Globe Ph Volcanoes will compete next month at the Singapore SEA 7s on April 14 and 15.