Philippine water polo team to see action in FINA Challengers’ Cup
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 05, 2019 06:52 PM
The Philippine Water Polo Team at the Changi Airport in Singapore (photo courtesy of Philippine Water Polo Team)
SINGAPORE – With eyes locked on a first ever gold medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the preparation for the biennial meet is now on its crucial stage for the Philippine water polo team.
With more than a month to go before the 30th SEA Games in the country, the Filipinos are scheduled to compete in the FINA Water Polo Challengers’ Cup slated October 8 to 13 here.
“It’s a very important event for the national team,” said veteran coach Rey Galang as the Nationals arrival here Saturday morning.
“It’s an event where we can gauge where we are in terms of our readiness, our preparation for the SEA Games because other Southeast Asian nations are also participating in this tournament,” he added.
The national team is in Group A with Ireland, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and host Singapore, while in Group B are Austria, India, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Prior to this event, the Philippine Team competed in Indonesia and Hong Kong tournaments – both part of preparation for the SEA Games – and on both occasions the Filipinos did well.
As for the FINA Challengers’ Cup, this is only the second time for the Filipinos, and first since 2008 when it was held in Kuwait. The national team placed fourth overall out of 12 teams.
“This is really good for our national team because it’s an opportunity for the players to improve and get experience because we’ll be able to face tough competition in the Challengers’ Cup,” former water polo star turned coach Dale Evangelista.
In the SEA Games, Singapore has won the gold medal since water polo competition started in the regional meet back in 1965. Last year, Indonesia and Malaysia settled for silver and bronze medals in Kuala Lumpur.