SIARGAO—Seven Filipino surfers showed their world-class worth in the face of tremendous opposition as they entered the quarterfinals of the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup which attracted a huge crowd at the famous Cloud 9 surfing club here.
John Mark Tokong, Kent Brian Solloso and Carlito Nogralo won both their heats to spearhead the Philippines bid to make its mark in this World Surf League-sanctioned tournament that drew the top surfers from 20 countries.
"The event will give our local surfers much-needed exposure and will help them earn points to qualify for the Olympics. Surfing is a sport in which our locals can excel. With proper training and funding, our surfers can help us clinch an Olympic medal," said Representative Bingo Matugas, who helped organized the event."
"Considering that this is the 25th anniversary of the event, we would like to make the event grand and memorable and Globe's valuable support will surely ensure the competition's success."
Also advancing to the next round of the event were local bets PJ Alipayo, Christian Araquil, and Neil Sanchez and Jay R Esquivel, who finished second in their respective heats.
World Surf League Asia tournament director Will Hayden Smith and operations manager Gerry Degan described the organization of the event as a fantastic and stressed that the event is the biggest international surfing event in the country. Robertson praised the perfect condition of the wave as he described Siargao as having the most perfect waves in the world.
"The level of competition is extremely high," said Smith, who as a growing boy in Australia already heard about the charm and beauty of Siargao.
The week-long event, actually, had its formal opening Saturday afternoon with the organizers and sponsors, including Representative Matugas, Governor Francisco Matugas, top officials of the local government units, medical teams, law enforcers and Coca Cola Philippines Public and Corporate Affairs Director lawyer Juan Lorenzo Tanada in attendance.
The Philippine Sports Commission headed by Chairman Butch Ramirez fully supported the event. Ramirez was represented by PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez in the formal opening ceremony. Also in attendance were Chinese Embassy officials based in Davao City.
The event is also being held in memory of General Luna Mayor Jaime Rusillon, who is credited for opening Siargao to the surfing world.Siargao started to become famous as one of the top surfing capitals in the world when Rusillon hosted the 1994 international surfing tournament.
Owing to its worldwide appeal, the event is being broadcast live by the worldsurfingleague.com.
Degan and Smith noted the rising level of surfing in the Philippines. They noted that Filipino surfers are improving vastly and can match up against their international counterparts.
"The level is quite high but Filipino surfers must train in different kinds of waves because the waves here in Siargao are perfect," said Smith.
Wilmar Melindo, a Siargao native, who excelled as a leading judge (Level 2) judge in international competitions, said the local surfers are comparable to the world's best surfers.
"We only need to have more international exposure," said Melindo, first cousin of former world boxing champion Milan Melindo.
Favorites who advanced were Skip Mc Cullough of the United States, Australians Duke Nagtzaam, Dylan Moffat, Thomads Cervi and Harley Ross; Japan's Kenta Ishikawa and Jin Suzuki, Daniel Farr and Elliot Reed of New Zealand, Pablo Montero of Spain, Argentina's Santiago Muniz, Hawaii's Noash Beschen and Israel Barona of Ecuador.
Date: October 6, 2019 | By: Matias Eroa | Newspaper: Inquirer | Source: https://sports.inquirer.net/368647/ph-surfers-shine-in-25th-siargao-international-surfing-cup