The Philippines advanced to the finals of the 4x400m men's relay in the 19th Asian Games, after topping Heat 2 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Tuesday.
Fil-heritage athlete Umajesty Williams led the charge of the Philippines with a team-best 44.16 seconds, followed by athletic great Isidro del Prado's son, Michael, who timed 45.88.
Joyme Sequita and Frederick Ramirez provided decent support at 46.74 and 49.37, respectively, as the Philippines ruled the heat with a new national record of 3:06.15.
That proved enough to beat the 3:06.60 of fellow final qualifiers Sri Lanka and Korea (3:07.10).
The Philippines, the reigning 4x400 champion in the Southeast Asian Games, will have a repeat showdown in the finals at 8:35 p.m. on Wednesday against its SEAG runner-up Thailand (national record 3:06.96), Iraq (NR 3:07.58), Bahrain (NR 3:06.2), Korea (NR 3:04.03), India (NR 3:03.81), Sri Lanka (3:06.60) and Qatar (NR 3:01.00).
Also on Wednesday, the women's 4x400 Philippine team of Fil-heritage athletes Lauren Hoffman, Robyn Brown, Angel Frank and Maureen Maureen Schrijvers will clash with fellow Southeast Asian rivals Thailand and SEA Games champion Vietnam in the finals slated at 8:15 p.m. Also in the finals are India, Bahrain, Sri Lanka and Mongolia.
On Tuesday night, Fil-Americans Lauren Hoffman and Robyn Brown will compete in the finals of the 400m hurdles.
The 24-year-old Hoffman finished second in Heat 2 with a clocking of 57.61, behind only Brunei's Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya (57.17).
"My goal is to win. I think there is a chance, I definitely want a medal. I think I'm very capable of a medal. I know winning will be hard, but I definitely will try to win. I know I have it in me," said Hoffman, who also entered the 4x400 relay team with Brown on Wednesday.
"Plan is to get out hard for the first 200, and just hold on, dig deep with everything I have left," Hoffman said.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Brown, the 2023 Asian Championships' 400m hurdles champion, with a 57.50 time, barely made it to the finals with her fifth-place finish in Heat 1, where she clocked 58.34 seconds.
"It's been a long season. It's definitely been fun, I had a lot of achievements this year. Looking to see myself on the podium," said Brown.
Hoffmann and Brown will face off with Japan's Ami Yamamoto (personal best 56.06), Kazakhstan's Adelina Zems (PB 57.16), Brunei's Adekoya (PB 53.09) and Aminat Oluwaseun Yusuf Jamal (PB 55.12), India's Vithya Ramraj (PB 55.42) and China's Mo Jiadie (PB 54.89) at in the championship run at 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday.
Six-time SEA Games' 400m hurdles champion Eric Cray was not as fortunate to make it to the finals, though, as he emerged fifth in Heat 3 with a clocking of 50.24.