Team Lakay's Mark Sangiao optimistic about Philippines' chances in SEA Games Kickboxing
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 28, 2019 12:37 PM
Team Lakay's Gina Iniong and Jerry Olsim are among the Philippines' representatives for Kickboxing in the upcoming 2019 SEA Games (Photos courtesy of ONE Championship)
Mark Sangiao is optimistic about the Philippines' chances of bagging kickboxing gold medals in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The Team Lakay head coach is one of the coaches for the national kickboxing team, which will compete in the biennial games from 30 November to 11 December.
He is backed by ONE Championship atomweight mainstay Gina "Conviction" Iniong and ONE Warrior Series talent Jerry "Bokodian Warrior" Olsim, and he is confident the stars of The Home Of Martial Arts will transition well into kickboxing.
“I separated their training from MMA because we’re joining a really big competition. But I believe the transition won’t be a problem, because we’ve always been boxers before we focused on wushu,” Sangiao said.
“I made a program for them. Now we just have to see the level of opponents because this is the first time we’ll be joining the SEA Games so we’re not really that familiar with their opponents.”
Sangiao only just found out who is athletes will be competing against, so he is squeezing all the time he can to review their respective styles.
“We only got the names of the other entries recently, and we’re not really that sure of their level yet so we’re working double time on scouting,” Sangiao said.
“But other countries have already caught my eye, like Vietnam, and of course Thailand – that’s their base, striking.”
As for the odds of winning a medal, Sangiao is confident his wards can pull off something big, especially his battle-tested students from the famed Team Lakay.
“I’ve seen potential gold medalists though I cannot predict as to how many. We’ll just have to consider our [Team Lakay] athletes like Jean Claude [Saclag], athletes who have come from wushu and won World Titles there,” Sangiao said.
“We have a big chance. I just don’t like predicting because we’re just new here, but we’re working double time in getting everything covered.”
While Sangiao refused to guarantee the number of gold medals his team can win for the Philippines, he did promise one thing – supporters of this team will be pleased with the team members effort.
“They can expect that these athletes will give everything,” Sangiao said.
“They have been working hard in training since day one because they know the [importance] of carrying the Philippine flag.”