With brand-new gym, Team Lakay continues to build legacy in the highlands
LA TRINIDAD—Team Lakay has built its myth hereabouts, churning out champions from the thin air of the highlands. And it is building monuments to its success, the latest of which is a spanking new training center where the squad hopes to unveil more mixed martial arts gems.
Ringmaster Mark Sangiao, who steered his crew to a remarkable outing late last year, could only marvel at how much better his charges’ new home is.
“Before, we were just training in a quarter-sized cage. Now, we actually have a whole one,” he told the Inquirer.
Situated on the third floor of RD Square Building near Pico road, the hub, designed by Sangiao’s ward Harold Banario, also flaunts an assortment of gym equipment, a sauna room, a massage therapy area coupled with locker rooms and showers for both male and female patrons.
The soft-spoken mentor said that he and team skipper and former national athlete Eduard Folayang planned the hub earlier this year and finally began work on it in April.
The center, which according to Sangiao will now serve as the new headquarters for Team Lakay, is just a couple of minutes away from the team’s longtime gym in Pine Valley Plaza along Bontoc road.
“At least it’s wider now,” Sangiao noted with a chuckle. “It feels a bit more complete now so our athletes are more excited to train.”
“This proves that nothing is impossible as long as we keep on dreaming something for the young generation,” Folayang, a two-time ONE lightweight champion, said.
The new gym had its soft opening on Aug. 21 but only had operations in full swing last week, said the team’s founding coach.
Sangiao, though, feels a lot more can still be added to the facility but maintains that they have enough to crank up their style of conditioning—one that has produced a total of four titleholders in ONE Championship and another in Brave FC.
The space, as expected, will focus on mixed martial arts. Although boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and wrestling classes can also be availed by trainees, according to Sangiao.