By Jun Ray Navarres
2020 wasn’t the best year for everyone, but Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has a 20-20 vision of a better 2021 not just for his team but for everyone.
The Baguio-based stable’s father pondered on the recent result of their comeback in the Circle and also the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to the Filipino people.
This year was an unexpected storm.
Yet, as the pillar of hope, Sangiao remained optimistic with the hope of a brighter 2021.
“Of course, we have to make a few adjustments here and there. We had to deal with some lockdowns which made it difficult to train, but we made the necessary adjustments,” said Sangiao.
“I can’t guarantee the result of next year, but I can promise you we will try our best always. This game is hard, but I have complete trust that we can get back to our winning ways”
Mix emotions engulfed Sangiao as he reflected on what 2020 left.
“The year has been tough, good, and terrible at the same time. It’s been a mix of all things. On the positive side, we were able to spend more time with family and bond. Nature got to heal itself, and I’m sure we’ve all noticed how beautiful nature has flourished,” shared the 41-year old Sangiao.
“On the negative side, of course our economy took a huge hit. A lot of people lost their jobs. At the same time, we’re happy that ONE Championship is back and we’re able to work.”
Team Lakay saw action alongside ONE Championships return after the easement of health protocols however, the pioneers of mix martial arts in the Philippines suffered a 3-1 setback. Former World Champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, and rising star Lito Adiwang lost in their respective fights.
Regardless, the fighters don’t have time to sulk in their loss but instead focus on the positive things.
“The biggest lesson we learned this year is to cherish our loved ones. We have to show each other our love, because life is fleeting. COVID feasts on the weak, so we have to be strong. Lastly, we have to trust in God and have faith,” said Sangiao.
“I think our biggest accomplishment this year has been to help our Filipino people suffering through this pandemic in our own little way. Team Lakay has been able to give back to our people, and I think that’s really important.”
Follow the writer on Twitter: @burnsports