Philippine Water Polo National Team falls to Singapore, misses out on FINA Finals berth

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 12, 2019 06:21 PM
PH Water Polo Team falls to Singapore, misses out on Finals
(photo courtesy of Philippine Water Polo Team)

SINGAPORE – The national team fell short on its bid for a finals berth after an 11-7 defeat to Southeast Asian champion Singapore in the FINA Water Polo Challengers’ Cup Friday night at the OCBC Centre here.

Singapore, the defending 27-time SEA Games champion, took an early 4-1 lead in the second period, but four consecutive goals capped by a shot from Mumar Alamara put the Philippines ahead 5-4.

However, the Singaporeans answered with three straight goals to take a 7-5 lead at halftime break. A goal by Mcgyver Reyes cut the deficit to 9-7 before Singapore made three goals for the final score.

The win kept Singapore unbeaten with a 3-0 record, tying Ireland on top of Group A, while the Philippines finished the elimination round with a 2-2 card following wins over Zimbabwe 18-2 and Malaysia 11-8.

Singapore and Ireland dispute the Finals spot for Group A as they collide Saturday evening, after Austria claimed the championship berth in Group B after its 8-6 victory over Indonesia also Friday.

Philippine Team head coach Rey Galang remains optimistic since the 10-nation tournament serves as preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games the country is hosting on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

“At least we’re able to gauge where we are now in terms of our preparation for the Southeast Asian Games. Of course, Singapore is one of the teams that we’re preparing, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Galang.

“This tournament gave us an opportunity to see where we are now against our opponents in the SEA Games. Of course, it’s good if we could have won, but we’re still proud of the effort the players gave,” added Galang, who has former national team star Dale Evangelista on the coaching staff.

Backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Swimming Inc., the national team takes a break Saturday, and will resume action in the classification round Sunday against Hong Kong in the battle for fifth place.

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