ONE Championship: Consistent success is the goal for Team Lakay, says Mark Sangiao

Santino Honasan on Nov 13, 2019 02:56 PM
Consistent success is the goal for Team Lakay, says coach
“Sana, next year, hindi maulit yung nangyari na ang pangit, yung first to third quarter nung year, ang pangit. Sana next year, kahit man lang nasa 70% tayo, or pataas, hanggang sa pag-end ng 2020." - Mark Sangiao (FILE PHOTO)

Compared to the landmark year that was 2018, 2019 proved to be quite the rough year for Filipino mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay. 

The La Trinidad,Benguet-based team welcomed the year with four world championships in their possession and then absorbed a number of heartbreaking and painful losses and saw all four world titles get taken away in just the first three months of the year.

They would be able to regain one however, with Joshua Pacio recapturing the ONE Strawweight World Championship back in April. 

After a stretch of tough breaks however, Team Lakay got some breaks in their favor, as they were able to come up with a 3-0 sweep at ONE: Masters of Fate, ONE’s final show in Manila for 2019 last Friday, November 8th. 

Former world champions Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio bounced back with victories, while in the main event, Pacio was successful in his first world title defense against fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. 

It was, more than anything, a refreshing turn for the country’s top MMA stable. 

“Hindi ko ma-explain. Ginutom nga ako eh, after the fight I got hungry,” quipped Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “I'm very happy, I cannot explain my feelings now, and we were aiming for that, and to close 2019, we have to win the other three fights para makabawi naman dun sa dire-diretsong talo natin.”

2019 isn’t quite over yet for the boys from Baguio, as they have three more fights lined up for the year, with Edward Kelly competing at ONE: Age of Dragons in Beijing, China on November 16th, while Brave CF Bantamweight Champion Stephen Loman and Jeremy Pacatiw also have their own respective assignments. 

Still, getting the 3-0 in Manila was definitely morale boost and a good way to end what was an otherwise forgettable year for the champion-producing stable. 

“Sa ngayon, yung nangyari ngayon, masayang-masaya na kami sa results ngayon,” Sangiao shared. "Ito yung, sabihin natin, kahit whatever yung results sa kanila, masaya na kami sa result, at yun yung pinag-handaan namin at yun yung pinanalangin na sana yung end ng year maging mabuti naman.”

With 2019 coming to a close and a new year - and a fresh start - just around the corner, the goal for 2020, Sangiao says, is consistency in success. As one member of the media pointed out during the presser, Team Lakay has a knack for highs and lows. 

For Sangiao, the objective is to win, and win consistently. No more losing streaks. 

“Isang weakness natin yan, we have to improve. Again, next time, we'll try our best para hindi maging - we'll try to maintain our wins. Of course, this is MMA, hindi mo masasabi na perfect, pero next time, mas marami yung wins natin. If we can keep it 3-0, 4-0, then that would be better.”

“Sana, next year, hindi maulit yung nangyari na ang pangit, yung first to third quarter nung year, ang pangit. Sana next year, kahit man lang nasa 70% tayo, or pataas, hanggang sa pag-end ng 2020. Pero yung pag-end ng 2019, masaya na kami ngayon,” Sangiao added. 

After being on top of the world to end 2018 and then crashing back down to Earth midway though the year, 2019 has been quite the lesson for Team Lakay, and Sangiao hopes that it's something that they won't have to endure again. 

"Yun yung magandang lesson na napag-aralan namin, na by 2020, hindi dapat mangyari yung nangyari noong 2019. Ang ganda ng 2018, hindi mo ma-explain yung feeling non, tapos biglang kinuha lahat. Kung sana, maintain na natin yung 2018 sa 2019, ma-maintain yun. Kung hindi man ma-maintain yun, kahit kaunti lang pagkakamali. We will try pa na mag-improve para next year," Sangiao concluded.

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