Muaythai Muaythai Association of the Philippines secretary-general Pearl Managuelod joins Pilipinas Sepaktakraw Federation president Karen Tanchanco-Caballero and “Sports On Air” panelists.

Filipino muaythai bets unfazed by Thai rivals

March 31, 2022 Ed Andaya 425 views

THAILAND — not host Vietnam — will again be the Philippines’ biggest worry in the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

The Muaythai Association of the Philippines (MAP) believes the Filipinos can again hold their own against their Thai counterparts or any other Southeast Asian countries in the biennial competition scheduled May 12-23.

“I’ll say we can again win three gold medals in muaythai in Hanoi — or exactly the same number of gold medals we won in Manila three years ago,” said MAP secretary-general Pearl Managuelod during the 14th “Sports on Air” weekly vodcast last March 25.

Managuelod said Filipino athletes train long and hard everyday with the help of their coaches and trainers to win and not just comrpete.

“We have to remember that all the athletes that we will be sending to the SEA Games in Vietnam were carefully chosen by their NSAs. Lahat sila may fighting chance. Lahat sila nag-train para manalo at hindi para matalo. So we believe in our athletes and we’re confident we can overcome the talent of Thailand homecourt advantage of Vietnam,” explained Managuelod, daughter of MAP president Gen. Lucas Managuelod.

“In muaythai, we will send Phillip Delarmino, who bagged the gold in the men’s 57-kg, and Ariel Lee Lampacan, who took the gold in the men’s 54-kg. Although wala ngayong men’s waikru, na kung saan nanalo din tayo ng gold, meron sa women. We also have Islay Erika Bomogao, who won the gold medal in the world championships.”

Managuelod claimed MAP supports the decision of 2019 SEA Games muaythai silver medalist Jennelyn Olsim to shift to kickboxing in the coming multi-nation event.

“Jennelyn (Olsim) made her choice and we support her decision kung sa tingin niya it will help her grow as an athlete and as an individual. Nanghihinayang kami nawala siya sa amin because she’s a very talented athlete. Pero yung pinalit namin na weight category na 81-kg male, malakas din. So parang pinalitang lang namin yun nawala sa amin.”

Managuelod said MAP is also looking forward to joining the women’s waikru doubles again in Hanoi.

“I think what’s very exciting is because we’re again joining the women’s waikru doubles. Yung silver medalists natin in 2019 is not part of the national team anymore. So we conducted a virtual qualifying event at nahanap nga namin this lady from GenSan, who performed very well. Nasa Baguio na siya for training with the rest of the team.”

Asked about the surge in COVID-19 cases in Vietnam in recent weeks, Managuelod said MAP is taking all the necessary precautions to keep the athletes safe and healthy.

“Our athletes are in bubble training right now, although may mga collaboration with the national kickboxing team. But we plan to do a complete lockdown by mid-April. So kung may magka-sakit or mahawa man, they still have ample time to recover before heading to Vietnam.”

Managuelod also expressed confidence about the chances of both Delarmino and Fil-Am sensation Leeanne Bade in the comign World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on July 7-17.

“Phillip earned his spot in the World Games because he won the gold medal in the IFMA World Championships in Phuket, Thailand last December. There are eight sports per weight category and he’s No. 1 there,” explained Managuelod.

“As to Lee, she’s a new member of our national team. But we have seen both her professional and amateur fights in the US and she’s really very talented. When we talked to her, she said she always wanted to represent our country in sports. It’s her dream. Her father, Chris Bade, is a former PBA player and her sister Gabi is also a Gilas Pilipinas women’s team member now.”

“We (MAP) lobbied her at IFMA kasi her weight category is at 63.5 kilos and she’s very tall for her category and we feel na she has a very strong chance of bringing home medals sa World Games.

We sent them a few of her videos and her profile and they agreed that she earned that spot kahit na wildcard. That’s why she’ll be there.”

Added Managuelod: “We’re very excited kasi we feel that they are both very ready to compete at this level of competition, lalo na si Phillip. He has been training since last year kaya talagang praktisado na siya. His mindset is there. So I feel that we two very good reasons to be optimistic sa World Games.”

Managuelod said MAP is preparing for the return of its grassroots development program in the countryside.

“We are going to start our national legs and the national championships na face-to-face again. The schedule is from April to November this year. So we’re going to the different regions to hold our regional championships, and then hold the national championships in November in Pasig. With the current alert level now, we’re going full blast again.” with reports from Gab Ferreras