Philippines downs Malaysia in FINA Water Polo
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 11, 2019 05:10 PM
FILE - The Philippine Water Polo Team won their second straight after losing the opening game opposite Ireland (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Water Polo Team)
Games Saturday (OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore)
3 p.m. – Hong Kong vs Chinese Taipei
4:30 p.m. – Malaysia vs Zimbabwe
6 p.m. – India vs Austria
7:30 p.m. – Ireland vs Singapore
SINGAPORE – Veteran center-back Mummar Alamara scored four goals as the national team downed Malaysia 11-8 in the FINA Water Polo Challengers’ Cup Thursday night at the OCBC Aquatic Centre here.
Alamara, the tallest player 6-foot-3 for the Philippine Team, at converted three goals in the first half that gave the Filipinos a 7-3 advantage.
Malaysia trimmed the lead to 10-8 but Alamara made a crucial goal off a timeout to make it 11-8.
Adan Gonzales contributed two goals for the national team, while Aljon Salonga, the top scorer with six goals in a win against Zimbabwe last Tuesday, Mark “Maui” Valdez, Paolo Serrano, Filipino-American Vince Sicat and veteran player Roy Cañete each added one.
The win was the second straight for the Philippines after losing the opening game opposite Ireland 12-8. The other win was against Zimbabwe, which the national team demolished 18-2 last Wednesday.
More importantly, the victory ended a long eight-year losing skid against Malaysia.
In the last Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur two years back, Malaysia handed the Philippines a 8-7 defeat, which eventually led to the Malaysians taking the bronze medal while the national team missed the podium as it finished fourth overall.
“This is a crucial win for us against Malaysia. It’s been a while since the last time the Philippines won against them,” said Rey Galang, referring to the 2011 win of the Philippines during the SEA Games in Indonesia.
Next for the Philippines is Singapore, the defending 27-time SEA Games champion which is unbeaten in two games in the tournament, Friday night at the same venue.
“Magandang panalo going to the game against Singapore – isang team din na hindi matalo-talo ng Pilipinas. Pero sa tingin ko ngayon maganda ang chance natin against them,” said team captain and goalie Tani Gomez.