MANILA –The Philippine Amateur Sepak Takraw Association (PASTA) national team is currently in Myanmar to attend a month-long training camp in preparation for this year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia.
PASTA president Karen Tanchanco-Caballero told Sports Radio on Thursday that 18 athletes are in Nay Pyi Taw’s Athletes Village where they are trading skills with the members of the Myanmar national team.
Caballero said the athletes are accompanied by six coaches and one technical official in the training camp, which is under the auspices of the Asian Sepak Takraw and Chinlone Federation Solidarity , Myanmar Sepak Takraw Association and the Sports Ministry of Myanmar.
The Philippines is aiming to win the gold in the 2017 SEA Games, which will be hosted by Kuala Lumpur on August 19-30.
Last year, the Philippines was crowned men’s doubles champion at the 31st King’s Cup Sepak Takraw World Championships after a stunning victory over 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Myanmar in Thailand.
The team of Jason Huerte, Rheyjey Ortouste and Mark Gonzales fought gallantly to conquer powerhouse Thailand in the semifinal round, 15-21, 22-20, 21-19, before pulling off a 12-21, 21-19, 21-17 upset over Myanmar in the final of the premier division.
The Philippines defeated Singapore, Australia, Chinese Taipei and Indonesia in the elimination round.
It was a historic victory for the Philippines, which is the first country to beat world champion Thailand in the prestigious King’s Cup. Last year, the Philippines shared the bronze medal with Myanmar. Thailand won the gold while South Korea got the silver medal.
Aside from the men’s doubles gold, the Philippines also won a silver in the men’s team event and a bronze in the women’s hoop event in the tournament sanctioned by the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF), the world governing body in the sport.
Caballero said that after the training camp, the Philippine team will join a pre-SEAG tournament before going home and continue its training in Dipolog, Negros Oriental. A tournament in France in July is also scheduled.