HONG KONG - The Philippine men's rugby team made history on Saturday by bringing down Zimbabwe, 24-12, to reach the quarterfinals of the Hong Kong Sevens for the first time.
Ryan Reyes Howe and Donald Canon Coleman delivered the tries that mattered as the Volcanoes bounced back from opening-day losses to Hong Kong and powerhouse Tonga to reach the quarterfinals of the world qualifier.
It was the first time the Philippines won a game in two appearances at the premier Hong Kong sevens showpiece.
“It’s a special day for Philippine rugby," said general manager Jake Letts. "This is the furthest we’ve come on the world stage. The future is bright for rugby in the country.”
Zimbabwe was first to score within the first two minutes, but the Philippines’ Justin Villazor Coveney tied the game at 5-5 by pouncing on the enemy's turnover.
Filipino winger Ryan Reyes Howe followed with another try to put the team up 10-5, but Zimbabwe quickly responded in the second half to wrest the lead, 12-10.
Coleman soon scored off a penalty tap to make it 17-12 and a final try from Howe cemented the landmark victory for the Volcanoes.
The win set up the Volcanoes for a Final Eight match against Hong Kong at 7:12 p.m.