Philippine men’s national ice hockey team captain Steven Füglister had nothing but praise for his teammates after starting their back-to-back title bid in the Southeast Asian Games with a statement win.
Focused on their title defense campaign, the Philippine Eagles sent out a fiery message to the competition after a masterful 15-1 victory over Malaysia yesterday in their opening game.
Füglister, who collaborated with defender EJ Sibug to lead the team with three goals each, commended the Eagles for their solid collective effort as eight different players contributed to their opening win.
“This is our strength this year–we have four lines who can all contribute, so we have the confidence to send out any of our players and they’re going to do something out there,” the captain said.
After the opening goal by Carl Montano at the 12:30 mark of the first period, the game eventually turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Philippines clinched three more goals for an early 4-0 lead.
The host team continued to dominate the ice they recorded a 6-1 point run against Malaysia in the second period for a staggering 10-1 cushion.
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It was all Team Philippines in the third period as they showed no mercy to their Malaysian opponents, scoring five more goals to snatch their first win in the regional tournament.
Their win over the Malaysian team proved to be a better showing compared to their duel back in the 2017 SEA Games, where the Philippines escaped with a narrow 8-7 overtime win over Malaysia.
While Füglister expressed satisfaction over their dominant performance, the captain said the Eagles need to keep their eyes on the prize as they take the competition one game at a time.
“It’s a relief we had a good start in this tournament, but right now we just have to stay humble and recognize it’s just the first step, the one of many to what our ultimate goal is–which is going to the finals,” Füglister said.
The Philippine men’s ice hockey team looks to continue their dominance in the tournament as they face Singapore tomorrow at the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink.