NBA
Volcanoes chase Rio berth in HongKong
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Volcanoes fight for a berth to the Rio Olympics in the two-day 2015 Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Men’s Sevens Championship at the Hong Kong Stadium this weekend.

The Volcanoes, who have regained the gold medal in this year’s Southeast Asian Games, play three matches in Group B Saturday, beginning with the opener against Malaysia at 9:44 a.m., then powerhouse host Hong Kong at 3:11 p.m., before completing their Day One assignment versus preliminary round qualifier Iran at 6 p.m.

The Pinoy bets wrap up their group outings Sunday at 11:32 a.m. against dangerous Sri Lanka.

Fancied Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, and Chinese-Taipei make up Group A.

The Volcanoes hope to finish in the Top 2 of the group to advance to the Cup semifinals, from which the champion will eventually come.

Only the tournament’s winner will qualify for the Olympiad in Brazil, where rugby sevens is making its return. The runner-up, third placer and fourth placer will move on to the Final 2016 Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament, where aspirants from the different continents will dispute one remaining ticket to Rio.

Expected to lead the Phl are captain Jake Letts, Kenneth Stern and Gareth Holgate, who saw action in the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow.

Letts and Holgate are rejoining their SEAG-winning teammates Christopher Hitch and Harry Morris in Hong Kong.

Rounding up the 12-member team coached by Geoff Alley and managed by Matt Cullen are Jason Lynch, Kai Stroem, Andrew Ramsden, Harrison Blake, Robert Jones, Volney Rouse, and homegrown Lito Ramirez.

ANDREW RAMSDEN ASIAN RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION CHRISTOPHER HITCH AND HARRY MORRIS DAY ONE FANCIED JAPAN GEOFF ALLEY GROUP A GROUP B SATURDAY HARRISON BLAKE HONG KONG HONG KONG STADIUM
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