Philippines bid to become the next boom country in tchoukball, a non-contact sports that is similar to handball, begins today when the 5 th Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships kicks off at the West Negros University Gym.
Team Pilipinas Ilahas will play against Thailand in the opening match at 12 noon while defending champion Taipei takes on South Korea squad.
The tournament will have its opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. with the organizers, led by Philippine Tchoukball Federation president Gary Visitacion, assuring spectators of a colorful presentation from the host city.
At a press conference in Robinsons Place Bacolold yesterday, International Tchoukball Federation president Chris Huang from Taipei said Philippines has greatly improved in the past two years and will be a force to reckon with in this year's Asia Pacific tournament.
He said the Filipinos have shown their skills in tchoukball despite being relatively new to the sports. Tchoukball was introduced to the Philippines only a couple of years ago.
Philippine men's team coach Raymund Jamelo said they will try their best to land in the top four despite having to contend with the best teams in the region. Also seeing action in the three-day tournament are teams from Singapore , Malaysia , and Thailand .
Also at the press conference was Korean player Sounghoun Park , who invited Bacoleños to watch the games at WNU and start learning how to play tchoukball.
He also expressed appreciation to the Bacoleños for the warm welcome they received and he hopes to see more “friendly and smiling faces” at the WNU Gym in the next three days.
Being a non-contact sport, he said tchoukball is an enjoyable activity that promotes fairness, harmony and peace.
Coach Jamelo explained that aggression is almost non-existent in tchoukball as rival teams are not allowed to touch the player they are playing with while defending the ball.
The only way to appreciate the game, he said, is to watch how it is being played or to learn how to play it.
Against Indonesia and Thailand today, Jamelo said they hope to come out as the winner to boost their chances for the Asia Pacific title.
Visitacion, meanwhile, said the two teams from the host country had been training hard and like the six other countries that are seeing action n the tournament, they are committed to give their best and promote tchoukball as the newest sports discipline in the world.*NAB
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