The Albay Bulkans clinched the 2022 Globe 7s Series Luzon – National Development Division leg 3 title on Saturday, 8 October 2022, at Philippine Rugby’s home ground, the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite.
The Bulkans finished their domestic 7s season with a thrilling golden try finals win against a fierce La Liga 1 side. This spirited Bulkans side aimed to finish strong this season after their 5th place finish in leg 1 and a 4th place finish in leg 2. Bannered by a number of players from their u19s program and mixed with a couple of Philippine Rising Stars players, the team finally found the winning formula for their long-awaited championship in the Luzon league.
Albay Bulkans player with a breakaway tryIt was a collective team effort for the win, with a lot of the younger players stepping up. Club founder and player-coach, Ric Raymond Bellen, got injured prior to the finals. However, it served as an additional motivation for his young teammates, who already had to endure a 12-hour overnight van ride from Albay to Cavite just to compete on the day.
Tournament MVP and former Tuloy sa Don Bosco standout, John Frits Copino, led the team with his playmaking skills and vision. Joeben Belda’s defensive pressure during the extra time led to the Erwin Manjares’ golden try which secured the championship for the team. Final score was 19 – 14 for the Albay Bulkans.
“It was fitting finale to the National Development Division as two very strong teams with great development programs squared off in the finals. Hats off to both teams – their coaching & management staff, players, and supporters. It was great to see a lot of our homegrown players competing at this level,’ shares Acee San Juan, General Manager of Philippine Rugby.
The next round of games for Luzon is scheduled this weekend, 15 October 2022, for the Colts and Juniors Festival at British School Manila in BGC, Taguig City. The third and final leg of the Open & Women’s Divisions will be at the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite on 22 October 2022.