ONE Championship: Team Lakay aiming for another clean sweep at ONE: FIRE & FURY in Manila
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 21, 2020 01:58 PM
“What a start for 2020, Team Lakay versus the world" - Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao
Team Lakay's renowned head coach Mark Sangiao is making sure his athletes are at the top of their game heading into the camp's first test of 2020.
The fabled mixed martial arts team from Baguio City will pit its top martial artists against the world’s best when The Home of Martial Arts returns to Manila, Philippines for ONE: FIRE & FURY at the Mall Of Asia Arena on 31 January.
“What a start for 2020, Team Lakay versus the world,” an ecstatic Sangiao said.
“In our culture, during Christmas and New Year, we celebrate really hard, but now I have to discipline our athletes first. They have to sacrifice their vacation so they can prepare for the 31st.”
Danny "The King" Kingad, Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang, and Filipina atomweight Gina "Conviction" Iniong are also set to battle Xie "The Hunter" Wei, Pongsiri "The Smiling Assassin" Mitsatit, and Asha "Knockout Queen" Roka respectively.
The soft-spoken mentor guaranteed his team would not be rushing to get fit as they have managed to discipline themselves over the holidays.
“I told them to take every opportunity which goes our way. They’re very professional about it. They know the consequences if they don’t sacrifice and prepare. I’m lucky to work with very professional athletes,” Sangiao said.
“They prepared well. They should look out for our athletes as they have a lot in store. They’re very motivated to represent the Philippines.”
Right now, Sangiao and the team are studying their opponents so they can map out their respective strategies for that night.
“Our athletes are now focused on our game plan. They research their opponents and they look for holes to maximize on so we can come up with the best approach for their opponents.”
For Sangiao, the goal of the team is to regain the belts they lost in 2019 - and he knows that starting with a sweep would be a huge step in the right direction.
“In 2019 we lost our belts, so now we’re looking at getting it all back this year,” he said.
“It’s hard to stay consistent and to continuously improve, but that’s what we need to do. We have to be consistent so we can start off on the right note,” Sangiao said. “I hope we get the 5-0.”
Team Lakay battles the world when ONE Championship stages its first show in the Philippines for 2020 at ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Catch ONE: FIRE & FURY on Friday, January 31st, LIVE at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!