THE Philippine Volcanoes welcome the return of Gareth dela Rosa Holgate, Oliver Abalos Saunders and Jake Robrigado Letts as they do battle in the Asian Sevens Series kicking off in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
The three veterans were unavailable for the Volcanoes in the 2012 Sevens season due to playing commitments in Japan.
“I think we have a strong team,” says Letts, who together with Saunders helped lead the Volcanoes to a silver medal in the 2011 Borneo Sevens, the team’s best-ever at the HSBC A7s.
“We are up against UAE and Chinese Taipei in our pool and we have the potential to do well against these teams. Our aim is to finish in the top four at the very least.”
The other players in the 12-man squad are Alex Norona Aronson. Christian Desacola Enriquez, Chris Alamil Everingham, Chris Baltazar Hitch, Robert Amalay Jones, Sean Celada Lynch, Harry Dionson Morris, Ned Plarizan Stephenson and Eric Tai.
“Training and competing in the Rugby World Cup last June helped us figure out what our strengths are as a squad and we will be focusing on capitalizing on those strengths” added Saunders.
After the two-day event at Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, the series goes to Thailand at IPE Chonburi Main Stadium, Bang Saen on Sept. 21 and 22; India at the Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai on October 12 and 13; and Singapore at the Yio Chu Kang Sports Complex on November 9 and 10.
“It’s all about having a quality team for all four tournaments and that is what we are trying to do,” said Philippines coach Matt Cullen. “We are confident that if we put out our best side we can be competitive in the series.”