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PH completes twin kill in sepak takraw hoop events

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MANILA — The Philippine sepak takraw team completed a twin kill in hoop events to kick off its 30th Southeast Asian Games campaign in style Sunday afternoon before a packed crowd here at the Subic Gymnasium.

Buoyed by the women’s breakthrough triumph earlier, the Filipino sepak takraw bets did not disappoint with a big follow-up victory as the hosts started strong on their four-gold medal bid in the biennial meet rolling off until December 11.

Mentored by Rodolfo Eco, the Jason Huerte-led squad registered 670 points against Laos’ 430 to create a big cushion which Cambodia never got to erase in the process.

During the 30-minute event for each team to score points into the high-arching hoops, Cambodia recovered from a slow start to manage 450 points, bumping off Laos for the silver medal.

Composed of Janjan Bobier, Metodio Sueco, Emmanuel Escote, John Jeffrey Morcellos and Christian George Encabo, the nationals seek to continue their gold-medal hunt when they compete in the centerpiece event regu, team double and team regu starting on Monday at the same venue.

Earlier in the women’s division, playing coach Deseree Autor-led team also posted similar 670 points to cap off an escape act against Indonesia (660 points).

Myanmar, the silver medalist in the 2017 regional conclave held in Kuala Lumpur and a perennial sepak takraw powerhouse, heated up late but ran out of time for 640 points.

Indonesia and Myanmar thus settled for silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Autor was joined by teammates Josefina Maat, Sara Jean Kalalo, Mary Ann Lopez, Jean Marie Sucalit and Abigail Sinugbohan who will also be out to display another dazzling performance in the women’s regu event starting Monday.

The Nationals are eyeing three to four gold medals in the six-event sepak takraw to claim the overall championship at home after a fifth-place finish with two silver and bronze medals two years ago in Malaysia. (With report from Mahatma Datu/PNA)