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PH Beach Games returns to Lingayen for 3rd staging

By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG--The Philippines is known for very popular beaches like Boracay, El Nido, and Puerto Galera among others.

But the organizers of the Philippine Beach Games opted to bring the said multi-sport event to a different battleground, the sands of Lingayen.

"Our problem usually is that the fields are either short, narrow, slanting, or too leveled," JP Demontano, the founder and the general coordinator of the PBG, said in a chat with Dugout Philippines on Wednesday night during the press launch at Skippy's Bar about the concerns on the other beaches.

So what makes Lingayen, which has been the home of PBG since it began in 2017, the perfect place to stage the said sporting event?

"In Lingayen, it's flat and fine sand and [the beach is] very very wide. [You can play] 11 sports simultaneously. Only Lingayen can do that," Demontano answered, adding that the Pangasinan provincial government has been in full support of the event.

Now on its third year, the PBG will have 11 events, all beach versions of sports being held indoors or on grass fields.

Among the main highlights of the three-day event is the beach volleyball tournament, which could attract some of the top volleyball players right now, and the beach football event, where some Philippine Premier League players, especially those from Air Force, could play.

However, Demontano, who plays beach football, further said that upsets should be expected.

"We used to play against Army, but we win because we're used to the beach. So mawawala yung big advantage. Kami nga, di kami national team, nananalo kami against Air Force," he quipped.

What makes this year's edition special is that it will coincide with the Southeast Asian Games later in the year.

Aside from beach volleyball, beach handball will also be played in the SEA Games, and Demontano hopes that players from both disciplines could rise up from the PBG onto the national team pool.

"It's our dream talaga na people [will] come there to play and hopefully make it to the national team," he further quipped.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno