The Philippine National Squash Team completed a three-tie sweep of the mixed team event en route to its first-ever Southeast Asian Games title, Friday at the Manila Polo Club.
Tied with Singapore with two wins going into the night, the Filipinos did not let the gold out of their hands by putting their top players on top of the lineup.
Women’s singles bronze medalist Jemyca Aribado flexed her muscle against Au Yeong Wai Yhann to take the first singles match at 11-7, 11-7, 11-8.
Top Filipino squash player Robert Garcia then closed out the tie after fending off Samuel Kang at 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 to seal the historic gold for the country.
With the gold sealed, Singapore opted not to play the final singles match.
“Syempre sobrang saya kasi another history for squash na first time namin makukuha ng gold,” a jubilant Aribado said. “Sobrang daming struggle na pinagdaan namin nitong taon na preparation dito, sa team tsaka individually. Sobrang saya kasi lahat ng iyon kinaya namin, at itong gold na ito yung kapalit.”
Garcia was grateful for the support they received and dedicated this historic gold to everyone who helped in the journey.
“Nakapag-motivate sa ‘min yung pamilya namin, mga kaibigan namin na pumupunta galing pa sa iba’t ibang lugar. Syempre, pati sa boss namin (Richard Bachmann), binibigay lahat ng luho namin. Kaunting pangangailangan namin siya yung nagpo-provide,” he expressed.
In the other tie to complete the round-robin play, Indonesia defeated Thailand in two matches. Nonetheless, both received the bronze medals.
The win more than pushed the squad into the Games last two events: the men’s and women’s team events start, which will start on Saturday, December 7.
“Mas lalo (kaming) na-excite na lumaban sa pagstart ng men’s and women’s team,.”