Silver lining | Inquirer Sports

Silver lining

Sepak takraw squad sees hope for gold after losing to host Malaysia in final
/ 05:10 AM August 17, 2017

PH Chinlone team wins the 1st silver for the country during the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

KUALA LUMPUR—A close-knit team that picked a silver for the Philippines after losing to host Malaysia Wednesday sees, well, a silver lining in the defeat three days before the Southeast Asian Games officially starts here.

It was a decent start for Team Philippines, which has no illusions of ruling this 11-nation meet after being in the doldrums for the past five editions. The country also tabbed a bronze courtesy of a full-time archery instructor.


The Philippine flag was raised in the morning with a handful of Filipino athletes in tow and nobody from the Philippine Olympic Committee, who should be running the show, present.


The men’s sepak takraw chinlone team (linking), joining the event for the first time ever, withered against an experienced Malaysian squad, 391-271, in the meet’s first gold medal match at Stadium Titiwangsa.

Team manager Virginia Tanchangco said the country fielded in a developmental team for chinlone—they will have one more shot in the chinlone non-repetition event Thursday.

“We are really expected to perform in regu (match), because we are just first-timers here,” said Tanchangco of the sepak team that could only win a silver two years ago in Singapore.

JohnJohn Bobier said they treat each other like family and do things together—including showering. They vowed to go for gold in Thursday’s non-repetition meet.

Joining him in the team were John Jeffrey Morcillos, Rhemwil Catana, Ronsited Gabayeron, Joeart Jumawan and Alvin Pangan.

Late in the afternoon as a thunderstorm began to gather at KL Sports City, 30-year-old Paul Marton Dela Cruz bested last SEA Games’ silver medalist Ruslan Zulfadhli of Malaysia in sudden death of men’s individual compound bronze medal match.


With the bulk of Team Philippines still to arrive here, the medals were a welcome surprise as they came from unexpected events.

Sepak takraw is gunning for two golds but in regu events, while in archery, it was former champion Amaya Paz-Cojuangco who was expected to medal.

The bubbly mother of one didn’t make the medal round, but is expected to come back strong in team and mixed compound events.

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The bold water polo team, which shocked Thailand last Tuesday, bowed to Malaysia, 8-7, in the morning, which could affect their gold medal target at National Aquatics Center in Bukit Jalil.

TAGS: sepak takraw, Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines

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