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Lacuña looks forward to new chapter of friendly battles with Schooling

By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--In recent years, a battle for SEA Games supremacy blossomed between Philippine swimmer Jessie Lacuña and Singaporean tanker Joseph Schooling.

However, the rivalry of sorts somehow turned up a notch last year when Schooling struck gold in the Rio Olympics, beating swimming superstar Michael Phelps for Singapore's first ever gold in the quadrennial meet.

As both Lacuña and Schooling are set to invade the Malaysian National Aquatic Center for the SEA Games beginning next weekend, the former looks forward to it in a light manner.

"It's going to be fun. Me and Joseph, friends naman kami. Idol na rin naman siya eh. Tinalo niya si Michael Phelps. We'll have a good time there," Lacuña told some reporters on Friday at the Draft GastroPub right after he was launched as one of the new sports ambassadors for AirAsia.

"Lahat naman siguro ng swimmer, before, gustong makalangoy si Michael Phelps. and then now, lahat gustong makalapit kay Joseph Schooling," the Filipinio veteran continued while he also said that he is elated to see how his Singaporean friend is now getting a hero treatment in his home nation.

Lacuña was the only athlete among him, Maristella Sunang, and Alyssa Valdez present in the said media launch which also signaled the start of the airplane company's "Dare to Dream" campaign.

This year, Lacuña and Schooling are expected to face off in at least two categories.

"Most likely in the 200-meter IM and the 200-meter [butter]fly," Lacuña bared.

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