Break the ice and bring out the champagne! It’s time to celebrate after the Philippine Ice Hockey Team bagged a bronze medal at the close of its first game at the Challenge Cup of Asia (CCOA).
The International Ice Hockey Foundation (IIHF) – sanctioned competition was held at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink. It is the country’s first time to host the regional event.
Team captain Steven Fuglister was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament with his split 14.5-second goal hit in the last game against Singapore.
“We want to thank everyone for their great show of support at this year’s Challenge Cup. Our families, friends, and fans gave us an incredible source of strength and motivation during this run, a testament to our podium finish,” said coach Jonathan de Castro.
The national team will see action again at the next tournament in June. Although this won’t have any direct impact on its IIHF standing, the team hopes to further promote the sport as it competes against neighboring countries.
The 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will play a big role in the overall direction of the team as it defends the gold title and advances to the IIHF World Championships. With the Philippines hosting the games, the locals look forward to seeing the home crowd cheer for them.
“We are currently starting preparations for the men’s and women’s teams next year. Riding on our motivation from CCOA, the coaching staff is currently breaking down film from our last game to move forward and create the roster for the upcoming 2019 SEA Games,” De Castro added.
Future ice hockey games of the national team will be held at SM Mall of Asia, which has an Olympic-sized ice skating rink that was unveiled in October 2017. SM Lifestyle Entertainment’s support for figure skating and speed skating alongside ice hockey goes hand-in-hand with the SM Group’s vision to help and build homegrown talents.
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