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Team Lakay coach looks back on PXC 51, forward to ONE bouts

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Four bouts down, a year more to go for the famed Team Lakay camp.

It’s only just the first calendar month of the new year but the Baguio-based camp has already gotten their feet wet.

Last Saturday, four fighters from Team Lakay fought during the 51st show of Pacific Xtreme Combat. The camp went 2-2 with Gina Iniong and Jon Cris Corton providing exciting and thrilling wins while Fighting Cop Crisanto Pitpitunge dropped a close split decision loss against Jinel Lausa for the promotion’s Flyweight belt.

However, the team’s young buck Stephen Loman suffered a heartbreaking defeat to open the card, succumbing to the lightning-fast hands of Rex De Lara in under ten seconds. For Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, Loman’s loss is part of the learning curve for the 20-year-old fighter. “Maganda yung mga laban. Yun talaga yung kay Stephen,” Sangiao shared. “Nahuli siya nung first round.”

“Big lesson yun hindi lang para kanya kung hindi para sa amin din para pag-aralan pa. Bata pa naman siya, 20 years old pa lang at marami pang mararating.”

With the gym busy, as seven of their fighters booked for PXC and ONE Championship to start the new year, the team’s head trainer admitted that it had been hard for them to keep focus because of the week-long Christmas and New Year holidays. “Okay naman. Pinaghahandaan namin yung mga fights nila ngayon kaso mahirap kasi nag-Christmas and nag-New Year,” he said. “Pero ayun nagsakripisyo naman sila at nagtrabaho kahit holidays.”

During PXC 51, Team Lakay could have added another belt on their trophy case but it was not meant to be, as “The Slugger” Cris Pitpitunge and Jinel Lausa figured in a close yet thrilling bout with the former being on the other end of a split decision.
Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Team Lakay coach looks back on PXC 51, forward to ONE bouts
Known as the “Machine” during his heydays as a fighter, Sangiao disclosed that he had thought Pitpitunge did enough to win the contest. “Sa akin, parang nanalo kami sa tingin ko. Pero kelangan ko ulit panoorin yung video para ma-review. As of now, tingin ko nanalo kami,” he said after the bout.

“The Machine” still praised the performance put on by Lausa, saying, “gumanda yung wrestling defense niya. He’s a nice striker pero hindi ko in-expect yung wrestling defense niya.”

“Good for him kasi ginawa naman niya yung trabaho niya. Congrats sa kanya.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Team Lakay coach looks back on PXC 51, forward to ONE bouts

Kevin Belingon on his flight to China (c/o Team Lakay’s Facebook page)

The work still continues for Sangiao and Team Lakay as “the Silencer” Kevin Belingon will fight the biggest bout of his life as he faces ONE World Bantamweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes in Changsha, China this Saturday. “He’s working hard. Alam naman natin na magaling yung kalaban niya sa grappling,” the coach shared to Tiebreaker Times. “Pinaghahandaan talaga namin iyon at tignan na lang natin kung gumana. Hopefully maganda yung preparation namin and yung gameplan.”

“Ngayon, light training na lang siya para hindi mabugbog and maging ready na siya for Saturday.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Team Lakay coach looks back on PXC 51, forward to ONE bouts

The week, after Belingon’s bout in China, the team is then set to fly over to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio are scheduled to face high-quality opponents, with the latter fighting a hometown favorite Saiful Merican. The soft-spoker mentor just feels blessed and thankful that his fighters’ hard work are being recognized and they are being given the opportunity to showcase their talents. “Excited lang. Magandang break sa kanila itong January na to,” he closed.

Well, just as they say, if you’re not working hard, you’re doing something wrong.

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