Philippines Beach Touch Invitationals
21 Jul 2015 @ 10:00 UTC
Sun. Sand. Sea. Scores. Sounds about right for a beach touch tournament!
Getting sand in between toes had never been this exciting for the Touch Football players in the Philippines as the Federation of Touch Football Pilipinas (FTFP) hosted this year’s invitational beach touch tournaments. For two consecutive Saturdays, all roads led to the beaches as a total of over 150 Touch enthusiasts and guests came down to play despite thunderstorm warnings and rainy weather forecasts days before the games. They proved that all these won’t stop them from displaying their great passing skills, fast feet on the sand, and amazing diving forms to score a try! The weather approved of their enthusiasm and determination as the sun shone brightly with cool gusts of wind — the perfect condition for an entire day of matches.
The first leg of the FTFP Beach Touch Invitational was held at Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club in Morong, Bataan, a province in the northern part of the Philippines. Starting bright andearly in the morning of July 4, 2015, the beach was filled with teams prepared to turn up the heat in the two set fields.
The Anvaya Team, composed of staff members from the said beach resort, even as beginners did not let their audience down with their terrific passing skills matched with their abilities to run really fast on sand. A team of Japanese rugby players, the Manila Hapons, also participated and showed that they, too, are agile even on sand. At the end of the day, the men’s division came down to an exciting game between the Manila Hapons and the University of the Philippines (UP) men’s team. Great passes were thrown. Rib-wrecking dives wowed everyone. And when the 15-minute game was done, the UP team emerged as the champion, all thanks to their excellent chemistry.
The women’s division also showcased adrenaline-inducing games. The ladies of Touch proved that they are as good as the guys in playing. The final game was a heart-stopping ‘sudden death’between the UP ladies’ team and the pioneering touch football team in the country, the Nomads Bullettes. The UP team showed great tenacity and did not allow themselves to be intimidated by the more seasoned players of the opposing team. They dominated by scoring thevery much desired touchdown in the ‘sudden death’ and preventing the opponent from answering back with a touchdown. The UP team continued to knockout their opponents by bagging the mixed division championship as well.
On July 11, a week later, the second leg of the FTFP Beach Touch Invitational headed down south at the Playa Laiya Residential Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas. As one of the most visited places in the region during the summer, the venue proved to be yet another great place for more beach touch action. And despite the heavy rains brought by typhoons just days beforethe tournament, the weather that day was surprisingly perfect – the sun was up and the sky was clear with no hints of rain clouds hovering. It was a great reward and at the same time an awesome motivation for the players who came down to play.
Members of the Philippine Volcanoes, the country’s national rugby team, formed their beach touch team – the Beach Baboys -- proving that their power, agility, and stamina are the same both in the field and on sand. Their long passes, powerful dives, and communication made them reach the finals to go against the Manila Hapons. However, the drive and fire that the Hapons had hindered the Beach Baboys from snatching the most coveted trophy. The Manila Hapons, denied of the title in the first leg, bounced back this time and was hailed as the champion in the men’s division.
Team Macherr, composed of UP alumnae, was FTFP’s Beach Touch 2014 women’s division champions. Their years of playing together and experience, matched with their good communication on the field, made them earn the spot to play against the Nomads Bullettes in the finals. However, the Bullettes were very determined to hit back from the upset in leg 1 stopping Team Macherr from bringing home the trophy. The Bullettes succeeded and were crowned as the champion for the ladies’ division.
The mixed division was dominated by the players from Team Macherr, displaying their impressive touch football skills and well-orchestrated team chemistry from having played together for years.
The FTFP and the whole Touch Football community definitely made this ‘longest summer’memorable for each and every one of the participants and guests. Touch Football players from all over the country exhibited camaraderie, excellence in skills, and passion for the sport. They demonstrated how adaptable they are by beating the heat and beating the pull of the sand. Surely, with this amazing turnout in attendance, Beach Touch 2016 will be very much awaited.
*Thanks to Philippines Touch for this article.