Eyes on Oconer, Morales in Ronda Visayas leg


Posted at Mar 09 2016 09:11 PM

Cyclists during the recent Ronda Pilipinas Mindanao leg. Photo from Ronda Pilipinas' Facebook page

MANILA -- George Oconer of LBC-MVP Sports Foundation developmental team and Mindanao leg champion Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance will be the cyclists to watch out for when the Visayas leg of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2016 unfolds on Friday in Bago City, Negros Occidental.

The 22-year-old Oconer and his young but talented LBC-MVPSF squad have arrived in Bago and are expected to challenge Morales and the seasoned Navymen for the title.

Oconer and his team didn't participate in the Mindanao leg held a month ago.

"We're eager to race," said Oconer, who finished second to last year's winner Santy Barnachea.

Rustom Lim, Ronald Lomotos, Mark Julius Bonzo, and Jerry Aquino, Jr. are the other members of the team coached by former Olympian Norberto Oconer.

Morales topped the Mindanao leg with relative ease while seven of his Navy teammates including skipper Lloyd Lucien Reynante and Ronald Oranza wound up in the top 10.

(READ: Morales claims Ronda Pilipinas 2016 Mindanao crown)

Reynante expects have their hands full against Oconer and the other young guns.

"We knew all along it will be a different race come the Visayas leg and we're ready for whatever challenge we will face," said Reynante, whose teammates arrived two days ago.

Also seeing action are Mindanao riders Ranlen Maglantay and James Paolo Ferfas and other cyclists from Bacolod and Iloilo.

"The field will be much stronger here, which will make it more exciting," said LBC Ronda project director and LBC sports development head Moe Chulani.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)