TCC's Muay Thai fighters to invade Manila
Lemuel P. Maglinte (The Freeman) - November 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Muay Thai fighters of Team Cebu City will take on some of the country's elite kickboxers in the National Muay Thai Championships on November 15-20 at the Multi-Purpose Arena of the Philsports Complex in Pasig City.

The event serves as a selection process for the members of the Philippine team that will be competing in various international tournaments including the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Muay Thai Association of the Philippines-Visayas head Master Benigno 'Ekin' R. Caniga Jr. is upbeat with his wards' chances after their successful campaign during last month's Batang Pinoy National Finals in Baguio City.

"They have been training non-stop after Batang Pinoy. We are sending our promising fighters and I believe that we can do well against other top kickboxers in the country," said Master Ekin.

The 13-man Cebuano contingent is headed by Master Ekin’s nephew and Batang Pinoy double-gold medallist Andrie Caniga and mixed martial arts veteran Roel Rosauro.

The rest of the Cebu bets are Uchenna Onunkuso, Augustine Antiporta, Allan Albindo, Amocesar Petallana, Jhon Simbahon, Buel Algono, Rey Velasco, Reymond Berandoy, Radel Dela Cerna, Mark Alforque and Ulysses Martinez.

Meanwhile, Master Ekin said he is more inspired to strengthen the grassroots program of Muay Thai here in Cebu after the International Olympic Committee announced that they are giving the sport of Muay Thai a provisional recognition as an Olympic sport.

With this, Muay Thai organizations worldwide will now be able to tap into some IOC funding and take part in a number of programs including athletes' development. At the end of their three-year provisional recognition period, they can apply to become part of the Olympic Games sports program.

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