FILIPINO beach handball teams grab the spotlight this time after an international showcase last year as the country holds the inaugural Philippine Beach Games on April 28 and 29 in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Beach handball continues to gain ground in the country following the SEA beach handball championships in Dumaguete where the Philippine team bagged the bronze medal.
With an eye on the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Handball Federation sets the stage for local players to shine.
“The objective is to boost awareness for the sport and hopefully gain ground as we would like to be included in when the country hosts the SEA Games next year,” said Philippine Handball Federation secretary general Ernesto Jay Adalem.
PHF assistant coach JC Pangilinan said four Manila-based teams and two local teams will see action in the beach handball competitions.
Officials are determined to build on the fine performance of the Philippine men’s team, which defeated powerhouse Vietnam in the open division of the SEA beach handball championships
“We really have a big potential to win medal in beach handball because of the Filipinos’ natural speed and agility,” said Adalem.
“And also we have the knack for the fancy shots as well.”
Beach handball gives premium to “trick shots” like 360-degree turns which get two points.
The Philippines women’s indoor team ‘Amigas’ had earlier made its mark with bronze in the 2010 SEA Championships in Thailand.
The Philippine Beach Games also features beach flag football, beach football, beach volleyball, beach ultimate frisbee, beach petanque, beach spike ball and beach netball.