Southeast Asian Games men’s ice hockey champion Philippines opened its title defense with a dominant quashing of Malaysia, 15-1, Sunday at the SM Skating Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
The Filipinos showed their impeccable form on offense, taking three consecutive goals off veterans Carl Montano, LR Lancero, and captain Steven Fuglister 14 minutes into the match. A shorthanded goal off Montano again from a Fuglister delivery set up for things to come with 4-0 lead after the first.
Malaysia showed some sign of challenge after Chee Ming Bryan Lim breached Paolo Spafford’s guard after the hosts’ fifth, cutting the deficit at 1-5.
Nonetheless, with four lines doing their work on offense, the Filipinos had ten unanswered goals in the final two periods from a total of 51 attempts.
The Philippines was too overwhelming for the visitors, as Fuglister and rookie EJ Sibug produced three goals each, respectively.
Three players scored two to add to the avalanche of goals, as Lancero, Montano, and BJ Imperial did the job for the Nationals.
Fuglister was visibly pleased with how they started the tournament. Still, he emphasized that the team is looking at the bigger picture.
“Right now, we need to stay humble because this is just the first step, one of many steps towards our ultimate goal of making it to the final,” the Fil-Swiss forward shared.
“I think this is our strength this year. So we have the confidence to send out any of our players and they’re going to do something out there,” he added when asked on how all four lines contribute to the game plan.
The Filipinos take a break on Monday, then will face Singapore also at 7 p.m. at the same rink.