VAN Jacob Baccay and Rey Joshua Tabuso showed the way as the Philippines held off Malaysia, 30-29, to advance to the Under-18 finals of the International Handball Federation Trophy Zone 1B at the Panasonic Stadium on Thursday in Shah Alam, Selangor.
The Philippine youth team showed tremendous poise under pressure from the hosts, holding on for the win after entering the final two minutes with a slim 30-28 lead.
Baccay scored six goals and Tabuso came up with five as the Philippines arranged a title showdown with top favorite Thailand.
Pedro Balisi III, Carl Stephen Francisco, Juan Sancho Henson, Andre Abangan and Juan Carlos Miguel Pierra delivered three goals each for the youth team
Philippine Handball Federation secretary general Ernesto Jay Adalem said the delegation is pumped up as the youth team enters the title match after initially eyeing just a podium finish.
“We are going all out and the boys showed that they’ve got what it takes to win the title,” said Adalem.
The team, making a strong case for inclusion in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is guided by head coach Joanna Franquelli, Jamael Pangandaman, Aurora Adriano, Luzviminda Pacubas and JC Pangilinan.