THE PHILIPPINE fencing team will not settle for anything less than winning the overall championship in the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be held in the country later this month.
Head coach Rolando Canlas Jr. said the ultimate goal is to duplicate the Pinoy fencers’ feat the last time the Philippines hosted the biennial event in 2005 where they won five gold, five silver and a couple of bronze medals.
“That’s our aim. We are targeting three to four golds. We want all our fencers to win medals. If not the gold, then a silver or bronze,” said Canlas, a gold and bronze medal winner in the 2005 SEA Games.
He added: “With help from the Philippine Sports Commission, they were provided with everything from foreign exposure, foreign coach, nutrition, conditioning and sports psychology. They are all excited.”
The country’s top fencers include Noelito Jose Jr., Nathaniel Perez, CJ Concepcion, Nicole Cortey, and reigning Asian Under-23 champion Samantha Catantan.
During the 2015 SEA Games, the Filipinos failed to win a gold, settling for a handful silver medals. But two years ago they marked their return to the top with a gold, three silvers and two bronzes.
Canlas also shared that the full support from the government and top fencing officials led by Ormoc City mayor Richard Gomez and Celso Dayrit has given players enough motivation to deliver the gold.
“They really improved a lot. The confidence level is very high. When we compete overseas, even the Koreans are now taking videos of our fencers,” said Canlas, noting that Catantan won the gold in the recent Asian Under-23 by beating two Koreans along the way.
Fencing in this year’s SEA Games will be staged at the World Trade Center in Pasay City from Dec. 3 to 8. A total of 12 gold medals will be disputed among fencers from nine competing countries — men’s and women’s individual and team events in foil, epee and sabre.
Ten teams are set to vie for the crown of the Pintaflores National Beach Volleyball Invitational slated today and No. 10 at Paraiso de Antonio, Sipaway Island in Negros Occidental.
Four local teams are participating in the competition – University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Delimondo-Bacolod, Pontevedra, and Sipaway.
The six other participating teams were National University Lady Bulldogs, Sta. Lucia A, Sta. Lucia B, Philippine Air Force A, Philippine Air Force B, and Dipolog City.
The two day beach volleyball competition aimed to further develop the sports tourism program of San Carlos City.
Supporting this event are Gov. Bong Lacson, 1st District’s Rep. Gerardo Valmayor Jr., Jules Ledesma IV, the local government of San Carlos City headed by Mayor Rene Gustilo, Vice Mayor Criston Carmona, City Sports Office, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Pocholo Yuvienco, and San Miguel Corp./PN