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PH netters assured of silver in beach handball

(Photo from PSC FB)

VINH PHUC, Vietnam – As far as handball coach Joanna Franquelli is concerned, it’s a silver medal that glitters like gold. With one game to go, the Philippines is assured of the silver medal in the 31st Southeast Asian men’s beach handball event, an improvement over its bronze medal finish in 2019 when the country hosted the biennial meet in Subic.

“I am really proud of what the team has accomplished in two years that we were not able to train together because of the restrictions due to COVID-19, but we’re happy with the result,” Franquelli, a former national athlete in basketball and fencing, said a day after the national squad gave defending champion Vietnam fits before losing in a shootout 14-21, 18-12 (8-10).

The loss was the second in five games for the Filipinos in the double-round competition featuring two other countries – Singapore and Thailand.

“We exceeded expectations and no one expected us to get this silver. They were expecting Vietnam and Thailand to slug it out for the gold, but it turned out that we’re the one who fought for the gold and it was a close one,” Franquelli added.

On Wednesday at the Tuan Chau Resort Ha Long in Quang Ninh, the Philippines battled Singapore and Vietnam faced Thailand in non-bearing games on the last day of the event.

Vietnam was out to finish the tourney unscathed in six matches while Thailand, the silver medal winner in 2019, had the bronze wrapped up with a 2-3 card. Singapore went into the match against the Philippines with a 0-5 card.

Set to return home with silver medals are Daryoush Zandi, Dhane Varella, Josef Valdez, Rey Tabuzo, John Michael Pasco, Jamael Pangandaman, Manuel Lasangue, Andrew Michael Harris, Mark Dubouzet and Van Jacob Baccay.

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