PH women's beach handball team seeks longer preparation for world tilt


Posted at Mar 28 2023 06:24 PM

[From L-R] Team captain Marilourd Socorro Borja, head coach Joanna Franquelli, and playing-coach Aurora Adriano of the Philippine women's beach handball team. PSA/Handout 

MANILA -- The Philippine women's beach handball team hopes to get a longer preparation time ahead of its first-ever stint in the World Beach Handball Championship next year. 

The meet is set for July 2024, and the Filipinas are optimistic that they will have enough time to prepare for what will be a historic campaign. 

The Filipinas qualified to the world tilt following a silver-medal finish in the 9th Asian Beach Handball Championship earlier this month in Bali, Indonesia. With the benefit of just two months' preparation, the Philippines managed to place second to Vietnam in the world qualifier. 

It remains to be seen where the world championship will be held, with five countries still bidding to host the event. 

"It would really be a tough competition, but what will worked for us is we have enough time to prepare, get the necessary support and resources the team needs for the competition," said head coach Joanna Franquelli as she appeared with playing coach Aurora Adriano and team captain Socorro Borja in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at the conference room of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Added Adriano: "Ibibigay namin our best to train and work hard. If our preparation in the Asian meet was short, dapat mas double pa dapat for the world."

The team expects to be tested by the best beach handball squads in the world, including Brazil, Scandinavia, Denmark, and Hungary, but as early as now they are already embracing their status as underdogs in the world tilt.

"Masarap maging underdog kapag lumalaban ka," said Borja.

"We're overwhelmed sa accomplishment ng team. It's our first time to qualify in the world championship, so we're very extremely happy," said Franquelli. "Pero marami pa kaming kailangan gawin."

The team is hopeful of gaining some foreign exposure through a camp in Europe, possibly in the fourth quarter of the year.

However, they will not be competing in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games as beach handball is not in Cambodia's program of events for May. The sport is expected to be part of the calendar of the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand.