When the smoke clears and the world returns to normal, it will be back to the drawing board for Team Lakay in ONE Championship.
Though their focus is now on combating the pandemic that is COVID-19, head coach Mark Sangiao has not forgotten his plans to reclaim the World Titles they lost.
In 2018, the team won four World Titles, with Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, and Joshua “The Passion” Pacio each ruling their respective divisions.
Now, only Pacio remains the lone World Champion from the camp. Still, based on their performances this year, bringing back the belts they lost is a possibility.
“The plan moving forward is to keep on winning, work on their weakness; become more rounded so there’s no weakness in them, whether that be on the ground or with wrestling,” Sangiao said.
“We want them to be complete because we want all the belts back that we lost.”
Sangiao is hopeful that this is the year where Danny “The King” Kingad gets his breakthrough after an excellent run in the recent ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
He is also looking at Belingon and Folayang to regain their belts, and while that path will not be easy to walk, Sangiao is confident in his athletes.
“We want Danny to win it. As much as possible I am also hoping for Kevin’s resurgence and maybe Eduard can get his belt back as well.”
For the team to reach their destination, Sangiao knows that he has to be on top of his game as a coach as well.
The 41-year-old mentor knows that they have the skills to compete against any other athlete in the world. Now, he is all about making sure they are well-equipped when they return to the ONE Circle.
“We have to make sure that we keep on learning, that we’re not stagnant, that each day we learn new things. It’s also about making sure that they are prepared, both physically and mentally,” Sangiao said.
“If we identify what these athletes need, then we’re in good shape. After all, they’re the ones competing in there.”
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