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Filipinas’ quest for ice hockey glory foiled by Singapore team

12 May 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

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Pilipinas Islanders with head coach Carl Montano after their semi-final win

The Philippines’ national women ice hockey team, Pilipinas Islanders, was within reach of the championship on May 11 in the Mega Ice Hockey 5’s 2019 tournament in Kowloon Bay, but a team from Singapore, DP Mantis (Evoke) spoiled that dream.

The younger and smaller Filipinas fought gallantly but were simply outclassed by their rivals, who used their speed, height and heft to score a goal, 1-0, in the first period of the final match at the Mega Box ice skating rink.
But, despite that early DP Mantis advantage, the Islanders put up a tight defense with zealous goalkeeping by Rosalyn Lim to prevent the combination of Singapore and Taiwanese players from scoring again until the final buzzer.

“It was a good experience for them, they did their best,” national team head coach Carl Montano told The SUN after a post-game meeting with his players. He said the Pilipinas Islanders will compete again in the tournament next year.
Shaun Lee, the Singaporean founder of DP Mantis, praised the Filipinas for playing a great game, noting that there were two very good players on the team.

Lee was referring to Rachel Llanes and Mei Jue, two professionals playing for Shenzhen teams who were called up by Montano to bolster the national team made up mostly of young university students.
The Filipinas defeated Hong Kong team WIHO Elite 3-2 in their opening match on May 7 to earn a ticket to the next round. Then they crushed Bangkok YGG Ice Hockey Club 4-0 the next day. 

On May 10, the Islanders blanked WIHO, 5-0, to gain a berth in the semifinals. WIHO Elite, meanwhile, drew Bangkok YGG, 1-1, then beat sister teams WIHO Junior, 5-3, and WIHO 2-0 to set the stage for its semifinal with WIHO Elite.
Bianca Cuevas scored the first point against WIHO Elite 9min28 into the first period, drawing a reprisal from Wong Ka-wing at 10min38.

Then Llanes slammed the puck into the goal 10min31 into the second period to take the score to 2-1. But Adrienne May Li scored another goal for WIHO Elite at 6min10 to tie the game at 2-2.
Llanes scored another goal 3min22 into the 3rd period and Kathleen Tan added a fourth 2min48 into the fourth period, while WIHO Elite had stopped scoring until the game ended at 4-2.

DP Mantis (Evoke) stormed into the tournament with a 14-0 crushing of WIHO on May 7, then blanked WIHO Jr 10-0 on May 8.
The team defeated Bangkok YGG 2-0 in each of their two meetings on May 10 and in the semifinal on May 11 to stake its claim to the championship. 
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