From mall to medal: Journey on skates ends in gold | Inquirer Sports

From mall to medal: Journey on skates ends in gold

/ 05:41 AM August 27, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR—It’s an odd event hosted by a region whose countries don’t experience snow.

And the Philippines made the most out of winter sports’ maiden appearance in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here by seizing the gold medal in ice hockey.


“You can’t underestimate our players and anybody else in ice hockey in the region,” said Petronio Tigaronita, the manager of the men’s team that posted a historic triumph late Thursday.


The Philippines squad, which honed its skills on ice rinks of mall giant SM, completed a four-game sweep in the competition, capping it off with a 5-4 victory over title favorite Thailand at Empire City Arena.

“Thailand could not be beaten. But we did it!” said Tigaronita. “They were supposed to be the better team.”

The Filipino puck-slappers whipped Indonesia, 12-0, in the opener last Monday and followed it up with a 7-2 rout of Singapore the next day. They next downed host Malaysia via 2-1 shootout win to reach the title duel with Thailand.

Tigaronita expects their golden feat in the Games to inspire more Filipinos to take up a sport previously alien to people in tropical countries.

Michael Martinez blazed that trail for the country when he qualified for the Winter Olympics in figure skating.

The team is composed of Benjamin Joerge Imperial, Carl Michael Montano, Daniel Pastrana, Francois Emmanuel Gautier, Javier Alfonso Cadiz, Gianpietro Iseppi, Jan Aro Regencia, John Steven Fuglister, Georgino Orda, Jose Inigo Anton Cadiz, Joshua Carino, Julius Frederick Santiago, Lenard Rigel Lancero II, Miguel Alfonso Relampagos, Miguel Serrano, Paolo Spafford, Patrick Russel Syquiatco, Paul Gabriel Sanchez and Carlo Martin Tenedoro.

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TAGS: 29th Southeast Asian Games, Ice Hockey, SEA Games

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