By Ed Andaya (People's Tonight)
In Photo from left to right are: Richard Ang (FESSAP Honorary President), Tisha Abundo (FESSAP Vice President), Col. Ariel Querubin (FESSAP Deputy Secretary General & Flag Bearer of the Philippine Delegation to Kazan), athletes Karen Mae Jarrell Montilla and Salvador Jaymon Luciano Kapunan, team coordinator Ngayee Rodas, Jeane Monteverde (FESSAP Treasurer), David Ong (FESSAP President), Dan Francisco (Representing Philippines’ Head of Delegation Antonio Tiu), and Tony Fabico (representing FESSAP Team Leader to Kazan Christian Tan). Photo by Henry Vargas.
THE Philippines is sending students standout from Sultan Kudarat province’s Salvador Kapunan and Karen Mae Montilla as its official representatives in the badminton competitions in the 27th Summer Universiade scheduled July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia.
Kapunan, a BS Business Administration student of University of Santo Tomas, and Montilla earned the right to represent the country after topping the recent National Students badminton qualifying.
Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong and delegation head Antonio Tiu made the formal announcement during a recent get-together with other Kazan-bound officials at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.
The get-together was personally attended by Kapunan, the 24-year-old pride of Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao, and Montilla.
“We’re very happy to announce the selection of both Kapunan and Montilla as the country’s representatives in badminton during the Kazan Universiade,” said Ong.
“The two Filipino athletes will go up against the best badminton players in the world during the Universiade, which is widely considered as the ‘Olympics of university athletes,” added Ong.
Aside from Ong, also present during the meeting were FESSAP honorary president Richard N. Ang, FESSAP vice-president Tisha Abundo, FESSAP deputy secretary-general and official Philippine flag bearer Col. Ariel Querubin and FESSAP treasurer Jeane Monteverde.
Also in attendance were Dan Francisco, who represented Tiu, Tony Fabico, who represented Kazan Universiade’s tennis team leader Christian Tan, and badminton team coordinator Ngayee Rodas.
Earlier, FESSAP announced the inclusion of the Philippines in Pool B during the drawing of lots in basketball held in Kazan recently.
To be represented by the National Students champion University of the Visayas (UV) owned and operated by Congressman Eduardo “Eddiegul” Gullas, the Philippines is grouped with defending champion Serbia, Romania, Mexico,
Japan and Mongolia in Pool B.
The complete groupings:
Pool A -- Russia, Germany, Ukraine, South Korea, Estonia and Oman.
Pool B -- Serbia, Romania, Mexico, Japan, Philippines and Mongolia.
Pool C -- Canada, United States, Czech Republic, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Sweden.
Pool D -- Lithuania, Finland, Brazil, China, Chile and Norway.
Leading the Green Lancers of UV president Eduardo Gullas and Coach Felix “The Cat” Belano were 2012 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) MVP-Rookie of the Year awardee Hernan “Wowie” Escosio and playmaker John Michael Abad.
Also expected to join the team are 2011 CESAFI ‘Slam Dunk’ champion Andrew Avillanoza, former University of the East reserve Eman Calo and veteran wingman Phil Mercader.
FESSAP is the country’s lone governing body duly recognized by the International Sports University (FISU), the Switzerland-based organizer of the Universiade.
Aside from basketball and badminton, the Philippines will also participate in nine other sports during the prestigious sports event in the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan.