by Waylon Galvez
Van Jacob Baccay and Andrew Harris came through with crucial plays as the Philippines downed Indonesia, 2-0, in the 2019 Asian Beach Handball Championship Wednesday in Weihai, China.
With the score tied at 13-all, Baccay scored two baskets for the Jana Franquelli-mentored squad – each basket worth a point – in the final moments of the first 10-minute period to give the PH side the momentum it needed.
Indonesia tried to wage a comeback but it committed a passing error, which led to Baccay scoring a point for a 14-13 advantage. Indonesia attempted to score again but a shot by one of its players hit the bar, and Baccay rose again to deliver another goal.
That gave the national team a 1-0 lead in the game.
The second 10-minute period was equally tight, but the Philippines held on as Andrew Harris provided the winning point, breaking a 20-20 deadlock.
The victory improved the Filipinos’ record to 2-2, a big morale-booster considering Franquelli’s squad lost to Vietnam (2-0) last Monday, and will next face Chinese Taipei this Thursday afternoon.
“This win only showed that yes, we can compete against our Southeast Asian neighbors,” said Franquelli. “These teams, Indonesia and Vietnam, together with Thailand, we’ll see action again in the SEA Games.”
“Of course we’re very ecstatic with this win, but we know there is much to improve… especially losing to Vietnam two days ago. But we’re very positive, we’re very happy,” added Franquelli, who is being assisted by Luzviminda Pacubas, Aurora Adriano, and JC Pangilinan in the coaching staff.
The national team is relatively new as Franquelli only assembled the squad only two years ago.
In comparison, Vietnam placed fourth in the 2016 Asian Beach Games and 2017 Asian Beach Handball Championships, won the Southeast Asian Beach Handball Championships, and finished 14th in last year’s World Championships.