BAGUIO CITY – Three Team Lakay, members including former world wushu sanda champion Jean Claude Saclag, will compose the first-ever National Kickboxing Team that is expected to sweep the gold in the 30th edition of the South East Asian Games (SEAG) this December.
Saclag shifted to kickboxing earlier this year as the 2014 World Cup of Wushu sanda champion in the 60-kilogram division hopes to find his winning ways in a different, but similar, sport.
Saclag took the silver in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea after falling to China’s Hongxing Kong. He took the bronze in the 2013 World Wushu Championship held in Kuala Lumpur but in the lower weight category of 56 kg.
Saclag shifted to kickboxing this year and has gone into qualifiers of the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKBP).
Also seeing action in the debut of the sport in the SEAG is Team Lakay stalwart Gina Iniong, a ONE Championship Atom weight contender as well as Jerry Olsim, a ONE Warrior Series contender.
Other Cordillera fighters seeing action in the sport that will make its debut in the biennial meet are world medalist Jomar Xanda Boy Balangui of the University of Baguio, rising female fighter Renz Dacquel and hard-hitting Karol Estepa Maguide, both of Highland Boxing Gym.
The kickboxers have undergone exposure on their foreign training in Taiwan and Cambodia with the aim of winning it all and with the urging of SKBP president, Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino, Secretary-General Wharton Chan.
The team also has the backing of SEA Games Competition Manager for Kickboxing Beh Barothy Hung, and with the help of the coaches: Coach Live Green, Taekwondo Olympian Donnie Geisler, boxing coach Abellon Cabiara Mondol, and fight and striking coach Mark Sangiao, founder of Team Lakay and former national coach of Philippine wushu team.
SKBP is also supported by its founder, Congressman Bambol Tolentino. Kickboxing will make its debut in the 30th SEA Games through the efforts of the SKBP and the full support of WAKO ASIA.
There will be eight gold medals at stake from the eight weight categories from kick light, full contact and low kick. Another member of the national squad is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) starfighter Rex de Lara, a member of the Catalan Fighting System under Ruel Catalan. The eight reserves are Danny Kingad also of Team Lakay, Rosemarie Recto, Xavier Villanueva, Daryle Wadasen, Carlos Alvarez, Emmanuel Cantores, Janica Alawas and Robin Catalan, a ONE FC contender. (PNA)