PH team ready for Universiade
Kazan, Russia—Ready and confident.
That’s how Team Philippines described itself on the eve of the formal opening ceremony of the 27th Summer Universiade at the state-of-the-art Kazan Stadium on Saturday.
Led by chess superstar GM Wesley So and nine-time Cebu champion University of the Visayas Green Lancers, the Filipinos arrived in the Russian capital city of Moscow shortly before midnight Friday (Manila time) following a long, 10-hour flight from Hong Kong and took another two-hour plane ride to reach Kazan.
The Filipinos formally checked in at the newly built Universiade Athletes Village at around 9 a.m. Friday, joining delegates from a record 185 countries in this prestigious, two-week competition dubbed as the “Olympics” of university athletes.
“The whole Filipino delegation is ready. The athletes, coming from different parts of the country, are in high spirits despite some problems back home,” said Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines president David Ong.
“We did well in the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, with taekwondo jin Samuel Morrison of Far Eastern University winning the silver medal. We hope to do better here in Kazan with no less than chess champion Wesley So leading the way, “ added Ong.
On Saturday, the Philippines will join the parade of nations during the colorful opening ceremony at the 45,000-seater Kazan Stadium.
Ret. Col. Ariel Querubin of the Philippine Body Builders Federation will be the country’s official flag-bearer during the grand opening ceremony to be broadcast live by media giant ESPN in select countries all over the world.
Handled by former PBA player-turned-coach Felix Belano and manager Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr., the Green Lancers will open their campaign with preliminary round games against back-to-back champion Serbia, Romania, Mexico, Mongolia and Japan in Pool B.
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