ONE Championship: No rivalry between Team Lakay and Catalan, says Sangiao

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 21, 2019 05:37 PM
No rivalry between Team Lakay and Catalan, says Sangiao
“There’s no bad blood,” - Mark Sangiao on Team Lakay-Catalan rivalry

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao shut down talks of a rivalry between his stable and Catalan Fighting System, particularly with its founder Rene "The Challenger" Catalan.

“The Challenger” is scheduled to face ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio in the main event of ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines – and things are heating up.  

Even before the showdown was announced Catalan went on record saying the rivalry between him and Team Lakay goes back to their days on the Philippine National Wushu Team. 

But Sangiao was quick to dismiss the 40-year-old’s pronouncement and is treating this match as business as usual.

“There’s no bad blood,” Sangiao said. 

“Maybe he has something. But for us, there really isn’t any bad blood. We’re a good sport, there’s no rivalry. I think they’ll hug it out right after.”

Thinking back to their time on the Wushu National Team, the soft-spoken mentor admitted there was some good-natured ribbing between them, though he does not remember the fun going over the edge. 

 “Back then, it would really be Baguio versus Iloilo because that’s the two strongest teams in Wushu,” Sangiao said. 

“But that’s just it. There’s no rivalry. Sometimes, we’d just tease them that we’ll be seeing them in the finals lest it becomes another Baguio versus Baguio in the finals.”

According to Catalan, beating the 23-year-old Pacio is much more important than the fame, money, and the ONE Strawweight World Title. But Sangiao warned that Team Lakay is just as hungry as he is.

“Good for him,” Sangiao said. “Though we expect him to say that.” 

“If he wins, he wins it all. But everyone wants to win, including us.”

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