The Philippines Men’s National Ice Hockey Team has brought home the bronze medal from the 2017 Asian Winter Games held in Japan.
The newly-formed national team made its entry in the international scene by winning a medal on their first tournament – making the Philippines the only tropical country to win a medal in the event.
PH Ice Hockey Team coach Daniel Brodan shared how the national team made it to the finals of the tournament.
“This has been great. We started six months ago with 10-20 players. We would get together and practise and try to teach them some techniques,” Brodan was quoted in an article on the International Ice Hockey Federation site. “I'm happy to see that after three games we can play for the medal. I am very proud of this team.”
The men’s squad knocked China off third place (9-2) and claimed the Division II Bronze Medal victory at the close of the event.
Philippine team captain Swiss-Filipino Steven Fuglister who grew up in Zurich and began playing when he was eight spoke on behalf of the players.
“It's a huge honour for us to represent the country here. It's a big challenge for us as a team because it's the first time we have actually played organized games with real contact,” Fuglister said. “There were some guys who had to adjust first, but now I think we have found our groove.”
The ice hockey squad was formed with members from the Manila Ice Hockey League (MIHL), from Islanders, Manila Sharps, Omni Hockey, Manila Griffins and Cricket Lighters: Jed Benedict Reyes, Paolo Spafford, Gianpietro Iseppi, Patrick Russell Sy Quiatco, Jose Inigo Anton Cadiz, Carlo Miguel Garrucho, Francois Emmanuel Gautier, Julius Frederick Santiago, Hector Pierre Navasero, Lenard RigelLancero II, Allison Lapiz, Carl Michael Montano, Philip Cheng, Javier Alfonso Cadiz, John Steven Fuglister, Miguel Alfonso Relampagos, Julian Frederick Santiago, Miguel Serrano, GeorginoOrda, Michael Johnson Wang and Benjamin Jorge Imperial bannered the team with Daniel Brodan as head coach, Adam Richtar as assitant coach and Gaelen Hallenbeck as equipment manager.
In August, the newly-formed Philippines’ National Ice Hockey team will play in the first ice hockey tournament ever held at the Southeast Asian Games. The team will participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia events with the men’s and women’s national team.