In spectacle sunny weather, the Rugby 7s Philippine National Games took place in Southern Plains, Calamba over the weekend. Teams traveled from various regions representing their Local Government Units of Albay Province, Angeles City, Cebu City, Davao City, Gen. Santos City, Makati City, Olongapo City, Palawan Province, and Quezon City.
After 26 matches, Angeles City continued their dominance outpacing a determined Makati City 36 to 7 in the Gold medal match in the men’s division while Makati City defeated a spirited Cebu City in the women’s division 34 - 0. Bronze medals were bagged by Cebu City in the men’s with a close win over Albay Province 19 - 0 and Quezon City held on 10 - 7 over Davao for the women’s.
All eyes were fixed on the excitement and performance of Angeles City, boasting a development program of key members of the Philippine Rugby development program. A number of their talented players have been trained and developed under the Clark Jets rugby club, focusing on developing home grown talent. Philippine Volcano Jonel Madrona lead from the first whistle and was awarded with the Most Valuable Player award for the games. Madrona was also accompanied by other strong individual performances by Marlon Catepon, Joemari Rauras, Jay Ramirez and Kingsley Ballesteros. Other notable performances came from Ronald Longasa and Jeremy Hernandez of Makati City and Kenneth Osman of Davao. For the women’s Rassiel Sales of Makati City was awarded the women’s Most Valuable Player. Sylvia Tudoc of Makati City and Aiumi Ono of Cebu City continued to showcase their experience with Agot Danton of Davao also a notable mention for the day.
Philippine Rugby had national selectors attend to identify new local talent for a range of upcoming international competitions. Elite Performance Manager Chris Everingham was pleased with the days outcome. “It’s important for athletes to perform at the national games, with positions always on offer for the national team. I was very impressed and came across some talent I wanted to see in the regions”
Rugby 7s in the Philippine National Games is key to Growing the Game in the country according to Rose Lanticse, Get Into Rugby Manager for Philippine Rugby. “The teams will go home proud to represent their community, and I am positive that they will inspire the younger generation to join the rugby family. Rugby in the Philippines is still young, and with this year’s performances – it has started to grow. I look forward to these young talents play for the Philippine Volcanoes in the years to come.”
With international competitions starting in June, the PRFU will continue to focus on ensuring the national teams are ready to play. The Lady Volcanoes take on India and Singapore on June 5 and 8 for the Women’s Asia Rugby Championships in Singapore while the Men host the Singapore men’s national team for the Division 1 Series on June 23 and 26 on home soil.
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