MANILA, Philippines - The 11-member Touch Football Pilipinas Ladies National Development team leaves for Thailand this week to compete in the Oakwood Bangkok Rugby10s tournament set Feb. 22-23.
Co-captained by Clair Barberis and Nerice dela Cruz, the team hopes to improve on the second place finish of the Nomads Bulletes in last year’s edition of the tournament.
But the Filipinas are expected to face stiff competition in the annual regional event which features high-caliber Asian Touch teams from Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and the host country.
“The Bangkok Rugby10s tournament will be a gauge for us at how far we can go competitively against our Asian counterparts,” said long-time player Arabelle Jimenez during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Others who graced the forum were Touch Football Filipinas CEO Rey Gigataras, team manager Arlene Trinkler, and player Joan Javier.
Despite the odds in Bangkok, Gigataras remains confident of the Filipina bets’ chances through the effort of local touch clubs Nomads, UP Touch Football Club and Team Macherr, and Touch Football Coaches from the International School Manila, Craig Wislang and Steve Dodd.
Touch Football also known as Touch or Touch Rugby originated from Australia and is a minimum contact sport almost similar to full contact sport of rugby. But instead of the usual tackling, the opponent touches the person with the ball, making it less prone to injury.
The Filipinas, whose campaign is supported by Tribu, have been training the past two months under coaches Wislang and Dodd at the International School Manila pitch.
Other members of the team include Alexandra de Castro, Gene Flores, Aleth Hugo,Acee San Juan, and Maylene Savina.
Gigataras said following the tournament, national tryouts will also be held to form a national team to compete in the Touch Football World Cup to be held in Sydney, Australia in 2015.