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MMA star Lito Adiwang facing road block to PH kickboxing team call-up

Lito Adiwang is honored that he is being considered for the Philippine kickboxing team to the SEA Games, but his MMA career right now might keep him from joining. ONE Championship
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—When Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas secretary-general Wharton Chan revealed that Lito Adiwang is among the big names being considered to be inserted to the training pool for the Philippine kickboxing team to the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, it should sound good news to those following him especially in his current stint with ONE Championship in mixed martial arts.

However, the mere fact that he is fighting with ONE could keep Adiwang too from accepting a possible call-up.

Adiwang told Dugout Philippines on Saturday that how his current contract with ONE is shaped up might affect his chance to represent the Philippines again on the national team level.

"We need to accept that I'm under contract with ONE Championship," Adiwang said.

Adiwang then clarified Chan's previous statement aired over Sports on Air Weekly on Feb. 25, implying that he has yet to fix his schedule that would give him free time to train with the Philippine kickboxing team.

"Tignan natin kung hindi makakaabala sa schedule natin or sa fight natin sa ONE Championship," Adiwang added.

As an example, Adiwang is set to face fellow Jeremy Miado in a three-round MMA battle at ONE: X on March 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Assuming he is free afterward, Adiwang will only have the full April to turn his attention to kickboxing ahead of the SEA Games from May 12-23 in Hanoi, although the toughness he is getting from his MMA career so far could give him an advantage despite the lack of time to train.

He even added that he can easily transition to kickboxing from MMA.

"Striking din talaga ang base natin, so for sure konting adjustment ang gagawin natin dyan sa kickboxing," added Adiwang, a former national junior team member for wushu sanda.

With the dilemma at hand, Adiwang that he will first discuss his situation among his Team Lakay camp led by national kickboxing coach Mark Sangiao before coming up with a final decision.

"Pag-uusapan muna namin kung ano ang best option," Adiwang said.

But right now, Adiwang is grateful for the SKP consideration.

"I feel honored and happy na magiging part ako doon," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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