Philippine National Bobsled, Luge, and Skeleton Association, Inc. (PNBLSA) via Buddy Cunanan Facebook Post

The Philippine National Bobsled Team made a strong debut in North America, finishing in the Top 3 of the Alberta Cup Provincial Championship held at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The two-man bobsled team of Rolando Isidro and Jerby Deriada from the Philippine National Bobsled, Luge, and Skeleton Association, Inc. (PNBLSA) won 3rd place after 2 heats of competition with 9 Canadian teams.

The competition is part of the journey of the 1st bobsled team from the Philippines and Southeast Asia in their bid to gain a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.

The Filipino bobsledders are composed of members of the Philippine Coast Guard and led by PNBSLA chief Thelmo “Buddy” Cunanan Jr. who established the team in 2017 and moved its base to Calgary in 2018.

“We are very excited to make Calgary our team’s new home as we admire Canadian bobsledders and their instructors who have greatly distinguished themselves,” Buddy Cunanan told Mabuhay Canada about their new home.

“We also feel that the operating environment in Canada and the support of the local Filipino community are ideal for the advancement of our team and our long-term objective,” the Philippine team head added.

Cunanan credited the Calgary Filipino community and other supporters for the Bronze finish of the Philippine national team.

“But one of the most crucial factors was the local Filipino community. We needed to have a dynamic, empowered, forward-looking, creative, and successful community of Filipinos, fully-integrated in their new country and led by inspired men and women of integrity, to be our partner in this endeavor and to help us with logistical challenges in our new home.

PNBLSA president Thelmo Cunanan Jr., driver Rolando Isidro, brakesman Joseph Acosta, driver Jeffrey dela Cruz, brakesman Jerby Deriada, sec-gen Norman Camungol, and director for North America Joel Dizon. Image credit to Buddy Cunanan

I’m happy to say that I’ve found ALL these elements in Calgary, Canada! The vibe, support, excitement, and positivity from ALL parties has been simply AMAZING.”

The Philippine Coast Guards who are trained bobsledders had previously trained for 4 months in Austria before their debut in Europa Cup.

“As Coast Guardsmen, they have the required discipline, strong work ethic, commitment, and they are also highly trained athletes,” Cunanan said of the team members.

The Philippine National Bobsled Team is currently training under their partner organization, Alberta Bobsleigh Association.

With reports from Marclee Agustin

Shoutout your congratulations and cheers in the comments below for the Philippine National Bobsled Team!

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