Tenedero, Sanchez cleared to compete
The national men’s ice hockey team will compete in full force after Filipino-Canadian players Carlo Martin Tenedero and Paul Gabriel Sanchez were given the greenlight to play.
KUALA LUMPUR — The national men’s ice hockey team won its appeal on Saturday to reinstate key Filipino-Canadian players Carlo Martin Tenedero and Paul Gabriel Sanchez, who were disqualified by Southeast Asian Games organizers for allegedly violating eligibility rules.
“This is a great relief for us and great morale boost for the team,” said team manager Petronilo Tigaronita of the development while thanking national team of mission Cynthia Carrion for securing the decision during meeting of delegation mission chiefs earlier in the day.
“Ma’m Cynthia told us she was successful in upholding the eligibility of our two players during their meeting this morning,” Tigaronita said. “Without her help this would not be possible.”
He explained that Sanchez and Tenedero were scratched from the Philippine ice hockey lineup by the Malaysian hosts because both allegedly failed the required 16-month residency rule under international rules.
“But we have proof and documentation, including certification from their respective barangays that they have stayed in the Philippines since April 2016,” said teammate Francois Emmanuel Gautier, who arrived with Tigaronita ahead of the team in filing the appeal.
“We only had four days to get them.”
The absence of both players would have been a major blow for the Filipinos in the ice sport event that is making its debut in the 11-nation regional sports showcase, according to Tigaronita, also the secretary general of Team Pilipinas, the local ice hockey organization.
“Sanchez is one of our strong forwards while Tenedero is one of our best defenders,” he noted.
The Philippines is considered among the gold-medal medals in the event, with most of the players seeing action in the national team that topped Group 2 (second division) in the Sapporo Asian Winter Games ice hockey tournament early this year.
“If we play to our potential, I can’t see any reason why we won’t win (the gold),” said Filipino-Swiss goalkeeper Gianpetro Iseppi in an interview before the squad left for Kuala Lumpur.
The Filipinos open their campaign in their campaign against Indonesia on Monday at the Empire City Ice Arena in Damansara Perdana, a new commercial hub in this bustling and progressive Malaysian capital.
They then play Singapore, Malaysia, respectively, before closing out their stint against Thailand on Thursday.
The team with the most number of wins in the five-nation, single round series bags the gold medal.