11 Feb - 
After tough start to 2018, coach Mark Sangiao promises ‘better days ahead for Team Lakay’

What is already done cannot be changed anymore and that is exactly what Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is feeling right now.

Losing two World Titles in a span of six days may be disheartening to some, but the 39-year-old trainer remained optimistic that better days are ahead for the renowned gym from Baguio City.

He just hopes that next time, the breaks swing their way.

“Things happen, It’s been done. We can be mad, but doing so could only lead to losing ourselves. There is no going back so the best thing to do is to work hard again. My only plea is to give the athletes what they deserve. It’s painful,” Sangiao stated.

“Like I said, what they do is not easy. They have to go through so many sacrifices and what they do is something that ordinary people can’t do. The hardship they go through each day is unreal. So again, I hope they give the athletes what they rightfully deserve.”

Geje Eustaquio lost his ONE Flyweight World Title in a historic trilogy against his old nemesis Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil by unanimous decision in the main event of ONE: HERO’S ASCENT last 25 January at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Six days prior to that fateful night, it was Joshua Pacio who yielded his then ONE Strawweight World Title to Yosuke Saruta by way of razor-thin split decision in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.


The losses are certainly disheartening, but it’s during these times that he would use the ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang as an example to his younger warriors.

“These setbacks are not a reason for us to stop. Like Geje Eustaquio said, Eduard Folayang didn’t become a world champion until he was 34 years old,” he explained. “This is a lesson learned. We have such huge respect for ONE Championship and we are very thankful to the organization for giving us these opportunities.”

Stretches like this one often makes or breaks a team, but this is a situation that Team Lakay is familiar with – and they passed those previous trials with flying colors.

That should not be any different this time around.

“Others wouldn’t know what it took us to get here,” Sangiao said. “It’s so hard for us, but we have to remain positive and rise again.”

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/11/2019.

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