Team Lakay bets vie in Tokyo ONE FC
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Highly respected martial arts stable Team Lakay, led by world champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, sets out to raise the Philippine flag high in the Land of the Rising Sun as it features in the highlight bouts of the stacked ONE: A New Era card on March 31 in Tokyo, Japan.

Folayang stakes his ONE world lightweight crown against Japanese rival Shinya Aoki in a blockbuster rematch while world bantamweight kingpin Belingon defends in a grudge match with familiar foe Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil in two of the 16 duels at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan.

“We’ll be representing our country in one of the biggest, stacked cards of ONE Championship so we want to make our countrymen proud,” Folayang said in Team Lakay’s presscon in Quezon City yesterday.

Folayang is fighting the Japanese legend for the second time, seeking a repeat of their 2016 faceoff which served as his doorway to the world crown.

“This is a good fight,” he said. “We remember before, Japan invaded the Philippines so we’re also going to invade their place on March 31. Pinaghahandaan naming mabuti ito, we’ll go and get wins.”

For his part, Belingon is looking to show who’s the boss in his trilogy duel with Fernandes. They’re currently tied at 1-1.

“This is the only way to settle the score so I’m very excited for this third match,” he said.

A third member of Team Lakay, Danny Kingad, sees action against American Andrew Leone in a quarterfinal bout of ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

“I’m 100 percent ready,” said Kingad.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao said their bets recently had a cross-training session at the gym of jiujitsu expert John Baylon as part of their buildup.

“Martial arts came from Japan and we’ll try to prove there that Filipinos are really tough competitors in martial arts,” said Sangiao. “Our athletes are doing their best to win their matches.”

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