The Philippine men’s national floorball team in its bronze medal match versus Malaysia in the 30th Southeast Asian Game found plenty of motivation in the Filipino crowd that filled up the UP CHK Gym to show support.
And that made it all the more painful for the crew when they failed to give the fans something to be proud of. Instead, they saw themselves obliterated by the Malaysians, 4-7, settling for fourth — the same as in the 2015 edition of the Games in Singapore.
“Sakit. Very tough loss,” lamented playing Philippine Floorball Association president Ralph Ramos.
“Especially ‘yung support ng crowd natin, from the beginning hanggang sa huli, nandoon. Talagang napaka-overwhelming. Bawat isa dun sa team, talagang gusto ipanalo siyempre ‘yung game na ‘yun, and of course gusto natin ‘yung medal.”
The Filipinos appeared in control of the match when they led 2-1 just before the end of the first period. But the Malaysians found their groove and scored three straight behind Eugene Lai and Tristan Dass for a 4-2 lead.
That then proved to be the beginning of the end for the hosts, who finished the tilt with a 2-0-3 win-tie-loss card.
“Ganun talaga sa game ng floorball. Talagang mag-allow ka lang ng onting opening, onting lapse, talagang critical.
“We’re trying to really push hard sa simula pa lang ng period hanggang sa pagpasok ng second period. Talagang we’re pushing hard, pero high-risk din talaga — karamihan ng goals nila were from counterattacks,” said Ramos.
The Philippine floorball teams did not achieve the result they wanted, since the women’s squad also finished fourth. Still, Ramos hopes that this will be the start of the sport gaining interest from Filipinos now that they have seen it.
“With the reception ng crowd, ng mga kababayan natin na nagpunta talaga rito sa venue, kita natin kung gaano kasaya at ka-entertaining ‘yung sport. I hope this is just the beginning,” said the 32-year-old forward out of UP.
“Sana itong SEA Games na ‘to, mag-lead sa mas marami pang maglaro ng sport na ‘to, lalo na sa mga kabataan natin.”
Moreover, Ramos also hopes that floorball will become a staple in the regional biennial multi-sporting meet from now on. The sport debuted in 2015 in Singapore, but was not included in the 2017 Games in Kuala Lumpur.
“Yes, definitely. ‘Yun naman ‘yung kinagandahan sa aming ASEAN floorball countries, na we’re working together. On the court we are competitors, pero off the court we are helping each other to promote the sport sa iba’t ibang bansa,” Ramos said.
“Ang next namin na target is ‘yung Vietnam SEA Games. So we’re helping together, we’re working together para ma-push ‘yung game sa mga susunod na SEA Games.”