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(c) Nicole Parallag

Floorball

Philippines secures spot in Men’s Floorball Worlds with thrilling victory over Australia


The Philippines is heading to its third consecutive Men’s Floorball World Championships.

In a dramatic finish against Australia in the semifinals of the Asia Oceania Qualifiers, the Nationals held on for a thrilling 5-3 victory, advancing to the Final on Friday at the Philsports Arena.

Leading by a single goal at 4-3, with five minutes left in the game, the Filipinos needed to thwart the visitors on two consecutive penalty kills.

And they did just that.

Anchored by the defense of goalkeeper Patrick Nessbo, the Nationals thwarted an attack that included the prolific Aussie twins, Daniel and Tomas Gartner, in those two critical stops.

“We faced two significant penalties late in the game, and we have been dealing with too many penalty calls against us throughout the tournament. So, we’ve been honing our box play, and I believe today it paid off as we really put in our effort in executing it,” said the 23-year-old goalkeeper from Hertzoga BK.

Melvin Alm Mendoza then secured the victory in the dying seconds of the game with a crucial assist from Lucas Werelius.

The Philippines started on the back foot after Australian captain Daniel Gartner took the early lead at the 6:24 mark.

However, Werelius played a pivotal role in putting the hosts in the lead with an assist to Mendoza and a goal by Kim Varga to end the first period at 3-1.

The Varmdo IF forward then restored the two-goal lead at 4-2 near the end of the second period, turning in a pass from Mendoza against Edwin Perry’s defense, a luxury in this tightly contested battle.

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With qualification secured, the Philippines will aim to win the entire tournament as they face a Southeast Asian neighbor – either Thailand or Singapore – on Saturday at 2:00 PM in the same venue.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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