MANILA – The Philippines are ready to defend their title in the first division of the 33rd King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championships.
Facing the best Sepak players from 31 other countries, the Filipinos left for Nakhon Rachasima in Thailand over the weekend in time for today’s opening which runs through September 30.
In addition to aiming to retain the crown in the men’s doubles category, they will also compete for gold in other events: hoop, regular quadrant and regular team.
“We wish the Filipino team at Sepak Takraw the best of luck. We are confident that they are capable of replicating the feat, ”said Jeremy Go, senior manager of Go For Gold, during the team’s farewell at the Mall of Asia on Sunday.
Seasoned players Rheyjey Ortouste, Ronsited Gabayeron and Emmanuel Escote will spearhead the men’s squad with Joshua Gleen Bullo, Alvin Pangan, John Carlo Lee and John John Bobier.
John Jeffrey Morcillos, Joeart Jumawan, Nestleer Bandivas, Christian George Encabo and Regie Reznan Pabriga will join the trip supported by Go For Gold and the Philippine Sports Commission.
“We know they will make our country proud as they have done before,” said Go, vice president of Powerball Marketing and Logistics Corporation.
The women’s team is made up of Mary Melody Taming, Abegail Sinogbuhan, Gelyn Evora, Josefina Maat, Jean Marie Sucalit, Jea Mae Pepito, Jocielle Fernandez, Aisa Sabellita, Allyssa Bandoy and Lhaina Lheil Mangubat.
Coaches Rodolfo Eco, Hector Memarion, Metodio Suico Jr. and Junmar Aleta will coach the men’s team while Romulo Ruedas Jr., Esperidion Rodriguez, Gena Mark Saavedra and Deseree Autor will lead the women’s team.
According to Suico, the team also won a pair of straight and team hoop silver medals and a straight bronze effort at the 2016 world championships in Thailand. (RP)