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‘Lesson learned’: Early setbacks in 2019 won’t deter Team Lakay

/ 07:13 PM January 30, 2019
Team lakay ONE

From left: Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio, Geje Eustaquio, Mark Sangiao, Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang, and Stephen Loman hoist their hardwares. Denison Rey A. Dalupang/INQUIRER

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao isn’t the type who dwells on the past especially if it involves his fighters losing two world titles in just a six-day span.

Instead, Sangiao would rather focus on the present and future of his prized warriors.

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“Things happen, it’s been done. We can be mad, but doing so could only lead to losing ourselves. There is no going back so the best thing to do is to work hard again. My only plea is to give the athletes what they deserve. It’s painful,” Sangiao said.

“Like I said, what they do is not easy. They have to go through so many sacrifices and what they do is something that ordinary people can’t do. The hardship they go through each day is unreal. So again, I hope they give the athletes what they rightfully deserve.”

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Last Friday, Geje Eustaquio lost his ONE world flyweight title to Brazilian rival Adriano Moraes before a hometown crowd at Mall of Asia Arena.

Eustaquio’s unanimous decision loss also came just six days after teammate Joshua Pacio yielded the strawweight strap to Japanese strongman Yosuke Saruta in Jakarta, Indonesia by split decision.

But if there’s a blueprint for Team Lakay to follow and overcome adversities, the famed stable doesn’t need to look far.

“These setbacks are not a reason for us to stop. Like Geje Eustaquio said, Eduard Folayang didn’t become a world champion until he was 34 years old,” he said.

“This is a lesson learned. We have such huge respect for ONE Championship and we are very thankful to the organization for giving us these opportunities.”

Sangiao has no doubt his fighters have what it takes to bounce back.

“Others wouldn’t know what it took us to get here,” Sangiao said. “It’s so hard for us, but we have to remain positive and rise again.”

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TAGS: Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio, Mark Sangiao, MMA, ONE, One Championship, Team Lakay
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