Philippine juniors, ladies faves in Southeast Asia team golf | Inquirer Sports

Philippine juniors, ladies faves in Southeast Asia team golf

/ 09:51 PM September 05, 2011

HONG KONG—The national junior squad hopes to live up to the hype in the opening round of the 51st Southeast Asia Amateur Golf Team Championships today at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club here.

Rupert Zaragoza, a rare double winner of this year’s national junior and men’s championships, will spearhead the youthful golfers in their bid to keep the Lion City Cup the country won over Thailand in Malaysia last year.

Former national champion Clyde Mondilla, Andres Saldaña and Gio Gandionco complete the PH squad expected to be challenged again by the Thais.

By lifting the Lion City Cup last year, the Filipinos prevented a three-title romp by the Thais, who prevailed in the Putra Cup and the Santi Cup.

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The PH men’s team sets out as an underdog in the Putra Cup with Zanie Boy Gialon, Art Arbole, John Kier Abdon and LJ Go hoping to end the country’s 15-year title drought in the centerpiece event.

The Filipinos, who used to lord it over the field in the Putra Cup, have not won since 1996 in Myanmar.

But their female counterparts are favored in the Santi Cup with a team made up of reigning Queen Sirikit Cup winner Dottie Ardina, reigning Philippine Ladies Open champion Chihiro Ikeda, Andie Unson and Jayvie Agojo.

“They’re ready,” said Bong Lopez, coach of the ICTSI-backed squad. “They liked the course.”

The other coaches are Carito Villaroman (men) and Boyet Zaragoza (juniors) with Tommy Manotoc, the NGAP’s golf development program chief, as head of delegation.

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TAGS: Andres Saldana, Bong Lopez, Clyde Mondilla, Gio Gandionco, ICTSI, Putra Cup, Rupert Zaragoza, Santi Cup, Sports, Zanie Boy Gialon

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