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(C) Team Lakay

Mixed Martial Arts

Mark Sangiao believes he can rebuild Team Lakay after exodus

In Asian mixed martial arts, Team Lakay has been a force to be reckoned with.

With a reputation for producing some of the best fighters in the sport, the Baguio-based outfit has garnered numerous championships and accolades.

However, the team was rocked by a surprising turn of events last week when four of its key fighters – Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, and Honorio “The Rock” Banario – announced their departure.

Despite the setback, Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao remains optimistic about the team’s future. Speaking for the first time since the exodus in an interview with Bombo Radyo, Sangiao expressed his confidence in the team’s ability to bounce back.

ONE-Conquest-of-Champions-Team-Lakay Mark Sangiao believes he can rebuild Team Lakay after exodus Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

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“I just have to start again.

“Team Lakay grew into what it is out of effort and passion despite not having the best resources, so what more now? I have 20 years’ worth of coaching experience under my belt, and I believe I have a lot more to give our athletes,” he said.

Sangiao also shared his best wishes for the four fighters who left, noting that he couldn’t stop them from making their own decisions. He acknowledged that disagreements among teammates, even close friends, are normal and that their departure could not have been avoided.

Although there was an undeniable awkwardness in the gym following the departure, Sangiao believes it’s normal given the stature of the four fighters who left. However, he used Danny Kingad’s previous assignment against Eko Roni Saputra to show that the team remains focused despite the issues.

ONE-Fight-Night-7-Danny-Kingad-vs-Eko-Siputra-2 Mark Sangiao believes he can rebuild Team Lakay after exodus Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news


“There is that hint of awkwardness and adjustment, but I’m always willing to do everything to improve the gym – whether it be adding more trainers, strength, and conditioning coaches, and even a licensed nutritionist. Using Danny’s last fight as an example, he performed great, especially with Eko Roni Saputra carrying a seven-fight win streak,” he said.

“That’s the type of effort that a Team Lakay fighter will always show regardless of what happens outside of the cage.”

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