By Kevin Estrada
Team Lakay is upbeat ahead of their return at ONE Championship: Revolution, slated on September 24.
Head coach Mark Sangiao was nothing but praises to the strawweight pair of Lito Adiwang and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio as they return to fight in the Circle on Friday.
“Excited na tayo for next week,” he said. “Sana inaasahan lang natin na maayos ang lahat pagpunta, kasi andito pa rin yung hindi nating makitang kalaban.”
Nevertheless, Sangiao was pleased with how Pacio and Adiwang conducted themselves in training, with their dedication to honing their craft despite the pandemic excites him the most.
“Dapat confident kayong lahat. Looking at them sa training nila, nakikita ko yung excitement.”
The Thunder Kid will finally get to face China’s Hexigetu in the lead card after an eight-month wait. For Adiwang, the long break was a blessing as it enabled them to prepare further.
“Yun nga, parang blessing din na ganun nga ang nangyari. Di kami nagkaharap nung January,” he said, before knocking out his replacement Namiki Kawahara at ONE: Unbreakable.
“It’s a one positive thing for me: kasi nanalo ako, isang point na rin sa akin. And second is, mas naigihan ako ng longer time to study his style and his strengths, his weaknesses. Yun ang positive na nangyari dun.”
On the other hand, the Passion was relieved that his lay-off from the circle had finally come to an end, in the form of his third title defense against top-ranked contender Yosuke Saruta.
To him, their trilogy bout with the Japanese is as hard as his two previous defenses of the belt, and with both of them familiar with each other, it all boiled down to preparedness.
“Lahat nun mahirap eh. I think it’s about yung gaano ka lang ka-ready idefend yung title. We’re ready, we’re fully ready.”
Echoing Adiwang’s sentiments of falling ill with COVID-19, Pacio made it simple that recovering from the virus will always be his priority.
“Hindi ako tatanggap ng laban or papasok sa training camp na hindi ako fully recovered,” he then said. “Kahit papaano, tinitignan pa din natin yung health natin. And yun, we’re fully recovered, we’re fully healthy bago pumasok sa training camp para sa laban na ito”.
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