By WAYLON GALVEZ
The beach handball men’s national team gave the Philippines its 387th medal as the Filipinos earned a bronze in the event in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Wednesday at the Subic Bay Beach Handball Courts.
The national team dropped its final two games, 2-0 against Thailand (19-18, 21-16) Tuesday night and 2-0 against Vietnam (20-18, 23-10) Wednesday morning – shortly before the closing ceremonies of the biennial meet.
The bronze medal was the 121st for the national team to go with 149 gold medals and 117 silvers to claim for the first time in 14 years the SEAG overall championship.
PH beach handball coach Jana Franquelli said that even with the defeats in the final two days, it was still an accomplishment for the team.
“Both games were close, the important thing is the players fought hard, they gave everything they’ve got,” said Franquelli, “We are a young team and I’m proud of how the boys played kasi laban talaga hanggang sa huli.”
“We’re just glad that we were able to prove that we can do well given the opportunity. We hope this will be a turning point for the development of handball,” Franquelli added.
The two wins of the national team were against Indonesia and Singapore.
Formed a year ago, the men’s beach handball team was given proper training by both the Philippine Sports Commission headed by its chairman Butch Ramirez, and the Philippine Handball Federation Inc. headed by its president Steve Hontiveros and secretary-general Dr. Jay Adalem.
Franquelli’s hopes to get the same support for the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games in Vietnam, and possibly the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in China.
“We’re very thankful to the PSC with their support, and of course our federation. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila, at sa tulong at supporta ng mga kababayan natin hindi natin makakamit ito,” she said.