U17 Volcanoes fall short in YOG qualifier

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippine U17 Volcanoes came up short in clinching a spot in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games after finishing sixth in the Asian qualifiers in Tainan, Taiwan over the weekend.

Despite a strong start to their campaign, getting blowout wins against Uzbekistan and Laos, the U17 Volcanoes finished third in their group, relegating them to the plate playoffs, where only one spot to Buenos Aires is on the line.

The U17 Volcanoes drubbed India, 29-5, in the plate semis but were blanked by Hong Kong, 29-0, in the battle for fifth.

Despite the result, Coach Jovan Masalunga and Captain Dean Beeton remained upbeat.

“The boys played their hearts out and I could not ask for anymore from them,” shared Beeton.

“The experience for the players was phenomenal. [This was] an event that opened so many opportunities for young athletes. These young men are the future for Philippine sport and have done our country proud. The future is bright for the Philippine Volcanoes” added Masalunga, who will join the senior Volcanoes in the second round of the Asia Sevens Series a week from the incoming weekend in Hong Kong.

The teams that figured out in the cup playoffs, host nation Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Thailand, and eventual champion Japan, will join Hong Kong in Argentina for the quadrennial meet.

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