For handball coach Joanna Franquelli, the team's silver medal glitters like gold given how they overachieved this year.
The Filipinos gave defending champion Vietnam fits before losing in a shootout 14-21, 18-12 (8-10) in the 31st Southeast Asian men’s beach handball event Monday.
Franquielli said the team still managed to overachieve despite difficulties in training.
The last time they competed in the Games, they scored a bronze while playing at home.
“I am really proud of what the team has accomplished in two years that we were not able to train together because of the restrictions due to COVID-19, but we’re happy with the result,” Franquelli, a former national athlete in basketball and fencing, said.
The team's defeat to Vietnam was the second in five games for the Filipinos in the double-round competition featuring two other countries – Singapore and Thailand.
“We exceeded expectations and no one expected us to get this silver. They were expecting Vietnam and Thailand to slug it out for the gold, but it turned out that we’re the one who fought for the gold and it was a close one,” Franquelli said.
Set to return home with silver medals are Daryoush Zandi, Dhane Varella, Josef Valdez, Rey Tabuzo, John Michael Pasco, Jamael Pangandaman, Manuel Lasangue, Andrew Michael Harris, Mark Dubouzet and Van Jacob Baccay.