IDARAOS sa unang pagkakataon ang underwater hockey sa 30th Southeast Asian Games at gagawin ng  Philippine team ang lahat para magtagumpay.

Sinabi ni Dennis Valdes, presidente ng Philippine Underwater Hockey Federation, na sa pagpupunyagi at determinasyon ng kanyang team ay umaasa siyang magwawagi ito ng mga medalya sa biennial meet.

“I believe the Philippine UWH Team will do very well at the SEA Games. I am personally hoping to get four gold medals out of the four events. Of course, this cannot be guaranteed, but our athletes are training very hard for this goal,” ani Valdes.

Apat na  gold medals ang nakataya sa men’s 4×4 at 6×6, at women’s 4×4 at 6×6 competition categories na nakatakda sa ­Disyembre 2-3 sa New Clark City sa Tarlac.

“At the beginning of our SEAG journey last December, I told the prospective athletes that I want one year of their lives. This has not been an exaggeration. All have sacrificed an enormous amount of time this year. They have had to ask their families for understanding, their bosses at work for support, and most importantly, their own selves for the drive and capacity to keep training for an entire year just to peak during the week of SEAG,” anang UWH official.

Para mapataas ang lebel ng pagsasanay ng underwater hockey players, ipinadala sila ng federation sa Australian Underwater Hockey National Championships sa Cairns, Australia, kung saan naglaro si  PH top athlete Christian Policarpio sa ilalim ng New South Wales Men’s Masters team.

“For the Men’s Team, we have high hopes for our forward Topz Policarpo. For the Women’s Team, it’s our forward, Nadj Buenafe. We hope that both will score a lot of goals for Team Philippines,” dagdag ni Valdes.

Ang overseas exposures ng koponan ay sinamahan ng tuloy-tuloy na pagsasanay, sa tulong ng mga coach na ipinagkaloob ng Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

“It is our duty to ensure that our athletes, especially those training for the nearest competition in the calendar, which is the SEAG, get ample time to train both at home and overseas,” wika ni PSC Chairman William Ramirez.

“The Philippine underwater hockey squad could be new, but its members have shown dedication to their sport and we will count on them to give our fellow Philippines big things to cheer on,” dagdag pa ni Ramirez.

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