The Philippine men’s national floorball team showcased their determination to reach the pinnacle of the sport in the Southeast Asian region.
The nationals achieved a four-game sweep of the eliminations in the 32nd SEA Games, securing their first-ever gold medal final since the sport’s inclusion in the 2015 Singapore Games.
This accomplishment followed their dominant victory over hosts Cambodia, with a final score of 13-3 in their last pool game on Monday at the Dinosaur Park Hall in Phnom Penh.
Kim Varga Franz and Melvin Alm Mendoza exhibited exceptional performances throughout the 45-minute goal-scoring clinic.
Mendoza, who has been a standout player for the Philippines since his international debut in the 2020 Worlds, opened the scoring with a precise pass from Varga on the power play. He then returned the favor, assisting Varga in scoring two goals, extending the lead to 2-0 and 4-0.
Heading into the final period with a six-goal advantage at 8-2, the Philippines quickly added two more goals from Michael Hedlom and Ludvig Porral, widening the gap to an insurmountable 10-2 lead, putting the game out of the home team’s reach.
In their earlier matches, the Nationals began their campaign with a 6-4 victory over defending champions Thailand. They followed it up with contrasting 8-3 and 2-1 wins against Malaysia and Singapore, respectively, leading up to their game against the hosts.
Captain Lucas Oijvall and the rest of the squad now aim to repeat their success against Thailand, vying for their first-ever SEA Games gold when the two sides meet again on Tuesday.
On the women’s side, the Philippines overwhelmed Cambodia with a resounding 14-3 victory, securing their first win of the Games. In the process, they advanced to another bronze medal game against their nemesis, Malaysia, also on Tuesday.
Jade Rivera led the charge with two goals in the opening period, propelling the Filipinos to a 7-0 lead at the first break. The captain found the back of the net in the 6th minute with an assist from Jerymae Berdan, securing a 3-0 lead. She added another goal just over a minute before the break, extending the lead to 5-0.