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Team Lakay Bets Seek Gold in 2019 Southeast Asian Games
Three members of Baguio City’s famed Team Lakay are eyeing a gold medal as they compete in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11.
Jerry Olsim, Jean Claude Saclag and Gina Iniong will rely on their experience as part of an eight-man kickboxing national team during the 30th edition of the biennial games.
Olsim, also known as the “Bokodian Warrior,” boasts of an impressive mixed martial arts record of 6-1. He will compete in the featherweight division.
Saclag, on the other hand, is a former world champion in wushu sanda. He is a former silver medalist in the under 60 kg men’s wushu sanda of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Just like Olsim, Saclag is shifting to kickboxing in a bid to boost the country’s hopes in the event.
Iniong, meanwhile, is a six-time national wushu champion and currently competes in the women’s atomweight division of ONE Championship. Nicknamed “Conviction,” Iniong has a professional mixed martial arts record of 8-4.
Aside from their impressive records, the three Team Lakay mainstays are coming off from extensive training in Taiwan and Cambodia. Despite a change in discipline, Olsim, Saclag and Iniong are confident to give their Thai and Vietnamese opponents, the favorites in the event, a hard time in the ring.
“Malakas ang mga kalaban pero ready kami. Pinaghandaan namin ito at siyempre ayaw naming mapahiya sa harap ng ating mga kababayan at mga fans ng MMA (Our opponents are very strong, but we are ready. We prepared very hard for this, and we don’t want to disappoint our countrymen and MMA fans.),” Iniong said.
Joining them will be their soft-spoken mentor, Coach Mark Sangiao, who is renowned for his mastery of wushu and mixed martial arts, was tapped to train the Philippine National Kickboxing Team a couple of months ago. Sangiao, himself won a gold medal at the Southeast Asia Games in 2001 and today is known as one of the best Martial Arts coaches in Asia.
Several members of Team Lakay compete in mixed martial arts bouts at ONE Championship events held in different parts of Asia throughout the year. Numerous members of Team Lakay are proud to serve as Globe ambassadors.
“We are asking all Filipinos to pray, support and rally behind our teams in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. The opposition will be tough and strong, but we believe that our athletes’ big hearts and strong determination will help them succeed in bringing glory and honor to our country,” Nikko Acosta, Globe SVP for Content and Product Management Groups, added.
Aside from Olsim, Saclag and Iniong, Globe is also supporting the gold medal bids of Team Liyab’s Arena of Valor and Caviar “Enderr” Acampado in the SEA Games. The AoV squad and Enderr are part of the National Esports Team set to compete in the biggest regional sports event of the year.