The Philippine women’s national floorball team gifted the host country its first victory after routing Indonesia, 8-1, in the opening day of the floorball events in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Monday at the University of the Philippines College of Human Kinetics Gym in Quezon City.
Speedy forward Jade Rivera rifled three of her five goals in the opening period to power the Filipino squad’s scorching start en route to the blowout win.
“We didn’t expect to win this big. We only prepared as a team for one week, but I guess everyone wanted to win as one, just like the motto of the SEA Games,” said Rivera.
With the one-sided win, the Philippines cruised to an early lead in the five-nation tournament, going ahead in goal difference over Thailand, which earlier trounced Malaysia, 8-2.
The Top 2 teams at the end of the single round-robin eliminations will battle for the gold medal, while the third and fourth placers will dispute the bronze. Medal matches are set on December 1.
Michelle Jennifer Lindahl scored the opening goal for the hosts just two minutes and 45 seconds into the game, but Rista Delina struck the equalizer for the Indonesians three minutes later.
Rivera restored the lead near the 10th minute, then joined forces with Michelle Cruzado to hand the home side a commanding 5-1 advantage in the first 20-minute period.
Rivera and Cruzada netted a goal apiece in the second frame before the former punctuated the romp with eight minutes left in the closing period.
The Filipino team’s defense also proved to be solid as goalkeepers Michelle Simpson and Pia Tolentino denied the Indonesian attackers eight times.
“We have worked on our defense very much. Our defenders had a fantastic job,” said coach Noel Johansson.
The Philippine women’s floorball team will tussle with Thailand for the solo top spot today at 1 p.m. before facing Singapore on November 28 and capping the preliminary phase versus Malaysia on November 29.
“If we can beat Thailand and Singapore, then we can have a good chance of winning the gold,” said Johansson.