By Waylon Galvez
Game Tuesday (Subic Bay Beach Handball Courts)
6 p.m. –Philippines vs Vietnam
Game Wednesday (Subic Bay Beach Handball Courts)
9 a.m. – Philippines vs Thailand
The Philippine men’s beach handball team moved closer to getting a podium finish as it claimed a second straight win 2-1 against Indonesia in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Sunday night at the Subic Bay Beach Handball Courts.
The two countries split the two quarters, with the Philippines winning the first period 13-12, and Indonesia taking the second frame 20-18, forcing a shootout which Philippines won 7-6.
The two periods were won via “golden goal” or goals made after the 10-minute period and the score tied. The first to make a goal wins. This is the first time for beach handball in the SEA Games, although Thailand won an indoor handball event in the 2007 Bangkok meet,
Rey Joshua Tabuzo led the Philippines with 11 goals, while Jamael Pangandaman contributed nine goals. The national team won its opening game against Singapore 2-0 last Saturday.
The national team’s win improved its record to 2-0 for four points, followed by Thailand and Vietnam with identical 1-0 cards for two points, while Indonesia and Singapore are both at 0-2 (0 point).
Handball national team mentor Jana Franquelli said the next two games will be crucial in their bid to win a medal since they are up against the top two teams in the region – Vietnam this Tuesday and Thailand on Wednesday.
“So far with two wins, we have a good chance for a podium finish. We still need to wait for the results of all matches,” said Franquelli. “If we win our matches versus Vietnam and Thailand, we win the gold.”
Franquelli said their game opposite Indonesia proved that the players – despite being first timers in playing handball – have shown maturity after a few international exposures including an Asian Championship stint in China and a training camp in Hungary.
The team’s trip was made possible by the Philippine Sports Commission as well as the Philippine Handball Federation Inc. headed by its president Steve Hontiveros and secretary-general Dr. Jay Adalem.
“It was an overall team effort,” said Franquelli. “ The overwhelming support just kept the fighting spirit of the players up, even when we were down on all periods, you can see and feel that the boys wanted to win here at home.”