Have You Met The National Dragon Boat Team?

 

It’s time you made the introduction

 

 

The Philippines has a talent for shining on the international stage, whether it’s well-highlighted on media headlines or not. Particularly, various sports teams have been winning international games in what are arguably unexpected arenas. Just recently, the national dragon boat team bested not only their competitors, but themselves as well.

 

 

The 2017 Taiwan International Dragon Boat Championship

For a while now, Coach Len Escollante has wanted the Philippine dragon boat to beat its own world record. And with the Fulu river all around them, the team finally did so earlier this month.

 

Team members Daniel Ortega and Roger Masbate stayed firm at the helm and together, the Paddlers clocked in at 40.16 seconds in the 20-seater men’s 200 meters event. Their previous record was 41 seconds, clocked in during the 2014 ICF Dagon Boat World Championships in Poland.

 

A long time coming

Ever since 2014, Escollante had been pushing the team to beat themselves. “I have been challenging them to break their world record in every race,” she said. “All the hard work of training twice a day finally paid off.”

 

As an incentive and as a form of what could be taken as reverse psychology, Escollante handed Ortega US$200 when the record was broken. Evidently, the coach lost a wager with one of her most talented players.

 

Image via Facebook/Philippine Dragon Boat

 

A competition sweep

All in all, our national dragon team won four gold medals in a sweep of the team events. The group also won the men’s 200-meter 10-seater, as well as the men’s 500-meter 10-seater and men’s 200-meter 20-seater.

 

In preparation for the world stage

While the team members and coaches are thrilled at what the Paddlers accomplished, this is only the beginning. “This is essentially the start of our preparations for the world championships and the Asian Games next year,” said Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation president Joanne Go.

 

Meet the team

 

Daniel Ortega

Roger Masbate

Christian Burgos

Fernan Dunga

 Hermie Macaranas

Alex Generalo

Ojay Fuentes

John Paul Selencio

Jordan De Guia

Raymart Nevado

Lee Robin Santos

Jonathan Ruz

Franc Feliciano

Fernan Dungan

Oliver Manaig

Christian Urso

Lester Delos Santos

Jerome Solis

Kim Gabriel Borromeo

Robert Pantaleon

Jericho Noay

John James Pelagio

Christian Macayan

Arche Baylosis

Ryan Vidal

Roger Manlangit

 

Patricia Ann Bustamante (drummer)

Len Escollante (coach)

Marj Jhon Frias (assistant coach)

Ricky Sardena (assistant coach)

 

Image via Facebook/Philippine Dragon Boat