Yap steps in as ‘manager’ of Team Lakay
Cong. Eric Yap recently assured Team Lakay further support to enhance their skills and reclaim the titles they held in One Championship after a meeting with coach Mark Sangiao (left), Jeremy Pacatiw, and Jhanlou Sangiao (right). Office of Cong. Eric Yap photo
After Joshua Pacio lost the last world title for the Philippines in One Championship, Benguet Congressman Eric Go Yap vowed to grapple for more resources to help Team Lakay reclaim their championship belts.
Yap, during a meeting with Sangiao recently assured more help for Team Lakay for them to train and hone their skills not only in the country but also abroad.
“We want to elevate the level of our local fighters even further pagdating sa Mixed Martial Arts and sports as a whole. No better way to do that than to help our very own, Team Lakay. I told Coach Mark, mas dadagdagan pa natin yung support sa team, somewhat like a manager for the team,” said Yap.
The solon also assured further assistance for their equipment, vitamins, and supplement.
“Nakikita ko yung sacrifices nila, all of them, they represent our province, our country, but at the same time, they have families to take care of. That’s the reality. They can’t do that well kung hati ang focus nila that’s why we will be taking some burden off of them,” added Yap.
Sangiao meanwhile thanked the additional assistance from Yap saying it will go a long way.
“Nangako si Cong. Yap na dadagdagan yung suportang financial tapos tutulong din siya na maghanap ng mga sponsors. Malaking tulong ito lalo na sa mga supplements, sa preparation ng mga atleta. Kung kailangan nating mag train abroad, para lang makipag train sa mga magagaling pang atleta, malaking tulong dahil nakita rin nya yung hirap ng ating mga atleta,” added Sangiao.
The multi–title coach added the additional support from Yap will help his Team Lakay fighters focus on their training.
“Hindi masyadong nakaka – focus yung mga athletes natin so ang nakita natin na isa dyan is yung financial. Imbes na mag focus yung mga atleta natin ng husto, syempre may mga iba dyan na may mga pamilya so kailangan nilang magtrabaho,” added the former Filipino MMA champion.
On December 3, Pacio yielded the strawweight title to American Jarred Brooks via unanimous decision in the main event of One Championship’s return to Manila after two years due to the pandemic.
Four Team Lakay fighters, Eduard Folayang, Jenelyn Olsim, Geje Eustaquio, and newcomer Adonis Sevellino also suffered the same fate, losing to their respective foes at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jeremy Pacatiw and Jhanlou Sangiao however raised Team Lakay’s flag after securing decisive victories earning them $50,000 bonus.
Yap also handed Pacatiw and Sangiao P100,000 in cash each he promised after visiting the team in late November.
With the additional support to Team Lakay, Yap believes the MMA team will flourish and remains optimistic they will regain their titles the soonest.
“So much of the private sector’s support goes to other sports like basketball, volleyball, boxing and even golf. Neglected ang MMA which incidentally, dyan nag-eexcel ang mga kailyan natin from Benguet and Cordillera, we have world champions. Hats off to Coach Mark and the whole team, they’ve been doing that with very little resources. Imagine what they can do kung may resources for training camps, regimen, nutrition and other key factors. Mark my word, Team Lakay will bring at least five-word titles back to where it belongs”. ###