The Philippine Volcanoes have beaten the odds and bagged the silver medal at the recently concluded 2011 Asian Men’s Rugby 7s Championships held at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Now ranked no. 7 in Asia, the Philippine Volcanoes were able to beat powerhouse China and reached their first ever Cup final. It was the very first time that the Philippine team has trumped the Chinese nationals and it was considered a major upset at this year’s meet.
The Philippine team, en route to the finals, had also beaten Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and host country Malaysia.
In the finals, top team Japan has defended their title after beating the Philippine Volcanoes. But for the Philippine National Rugby team, it feels like they’ve won because beating China and facing Asia’s top rugby team in the finals are already beyond their expectations.
Philippine Volcanoes coach Mat Cullen said “We had set a goal of reaching the last four in the tournament . We have now set a few records. We beat China for the first time and by entering the final we have put Philippine rugby on the map. Finishing second to a team like Japan is an honor. It is way beyond our expectations.”
Unlike the Smart Gilas Pilipinas team who failed to advance to the Olympic qualifier yesterday, the Philippine Volcanoes is now on track to compete next March at the Olympic level in the world renowned Hong Kong 7s.
Below are the names of the Philippine Volcanoes members:
Michael de Guzman
Nick Perry Nick Pineda