PH students strike gold
The Philippines struck gold in two disciplines while a popular volleyball squad fought gallantly before settling for the bronze in the 2017 Asean Schools Games Wednesday in Singapore.
A group of young Nationals overwhelmed host Singapore, 82-32, on the final day to complete a four-game sweep and rule the girls basketball tournament at Our Tampines Hub.
The Filipinos team broke the game wide open early and never looked back on the way to the 50-point margin, the biggest winning difference the girls hammered out in the competition.
“We played with pride and teamwork; that’s why we won,” said coach Angelina Fedillaga in Filipino, adding that the team did not want to add to the list of squads that could not bring home the bacon in this event.
“We didn’t want to settle for the runnerup finish this time. Our mindset was to win the gold,” she added after the Philippines won the gold for the first time in this event.
Maurice Sacho Ilustre, meanwhile, capped his Singapore campaign with another gold medal, this time in the boys 200m butterfly at Singapore Sports School to emerge as the most bemedaled Filipino tanker with four golds.
Ilustre, a Grade 12 student at the De La Salle Zobel, clocked two minutes and 03.67 seconds to claim the gold.
It was a sorry loss for the girls’ volleyball team—which was the most followed squad on social media—in the battle for the silver after nearly shocking powerhouse Thailand earlier.
Indonesia thwarted the Filipinos bid to bag the silver with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 victory at Republic Polytechnic Singapore, the The Volleyball Reporter—the Inquirer’s new multi-platform resource for the sport—reported Wednesday.
Before the Filipinos took a shot at the silver, they put a gallant stand against eventual gold medalists Thailand.
The Thais struggled against the Filipinos, even dropping the first set, but prevailed after five, 23-25, 27-25, 25-22, 22-25, 16-14, in a Tuesday nail-biter.
Head coach Regine Diego, despite the loss, still admired her team for showing the heart to compete against, arguably, the best volleyball power in the Southeast Asian region.
“Thailand is really an advanced country in terms of volleyball and we managed to make things close so that’s really something to be proud of,” said Diego in a video interview posted in The Volleyball Reporter Facebook page (facebook.com/vreporterINQ).
“I really can’t say much about this game, the kids played with a lot of heart; I’m so proud of them and I don’t think anyone can top that as of the moment because right now they have the biggest hearts in the Philippines.” —BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET
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