Archers set sights on 2 SEAG golds


The Philippine Archers’ National Network and Alliance (PANNA) has set its sights on at least two gold medals in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games and a strong showing in the Olympic-qualifying World Championships with a lineup that its president considers a “dream team.”

Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Luis Gabriel Moreno, London Olympian Rachelle Ann dela Cruz, veteran Amaya Cojuangco and 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Paul Marton dela Cruz will lead the 16-member roster that emerged from the recent three-round qualification tourney conducted by PANNA.

Moreno will team up with veteran Florante Mata, London Games campaigner Mark Javier and experienced Zander Lee Reyes in the men’s recurve team while Dela Cruz will link up with junior stalwart Kareel Hongitan, YOG campaigner Bianca Gotuaco, and Marie Crizabelle Mamerto.

Incheon Games third-placer dela Cruz will spearhead the men’s compound squad with seasoned Earl Yap, and Jose and Delfin Adriano even as Cojuangco will re-team with Incheon Games teammates Joanne Tabanag and Abbigail Tindugan, along with veteran Jennifer Chan in carrying the fight in the distaff side.

“I want to label it as our ‘dream team.’ If you look at the roster, every division, from compound to recurve, it’s a complete mix of experience and youth,” PANNA president Fred Moreno said in an interview on DZSR.

The team eyes to surpass its one-gold output in the last SEAG. The 2013 mint came from men’s team compound.

“It’s been a long time since we have sent a complete team of 16 to the SEA Games,” said Moreno. “Last SEA Games we did okay for compound but now that we have more entries, we’re targeting at least two golds from the archery competitions.”

The same roster will try to get berths to the Rio Olympics in the world championships. The top eight nations in the team competitions will qualify three individual places each while the Top 16 ranked individuals from nations outside the eight will get one berth each.

“We’ll really do our best. We feel we have better chances now considering the right blend of experience and youth,” said the PANNA chief, whose team will also compete in the Asia Cup and World Cup in the first half of the year.

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