February 1, 2023

After Joshua Pacio lost the last world title for the Philippines in ONE Championship in December, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap vowed to look for more resources to help Team Lakay reclaim their championship belts.       

In a meeting with Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao, Yap assured more help for the team for the fighters to train and hone their skills not only in the country but also abroad.

NEW TEAM LAKAY ‘MANAGER’ — Benguet Rep. Eric Yap assured Team Lakay further support to enhance their skills and reclaim the titles they held in One Championship after a meeting with coach Mark Sangiao, Jeremy Pacatiw, and Jhanlo Sangiao. — Contributed photo

“We want to elevate the level of our fighters even further pagdating sa mixed martial arts and sports as a whole. There is no better way to do that than to help our very own, our Team Lakay. I told coach Mark, dadagdagan natin yung support sa team, somewhat like a manager for the team,” said Yap.

Yap also assured further assistance for their equipment, vitamins, and supplements.

Sangiao thanked Yap for the additional assistance, saying it will go a long way.

“Congressman Yap assured additional financial support and will help in finding possible sponsors. Such effort will greatly help us in our training. He also assured that training overseas with world-class athletes is possible,” Sangiao said.

The multi-title coach added the support from Yap will help Team Lakay fighters focus on their training. 

“Hindi masyadong nakaka-focus yung mga athletes natin. Ang nakita nating isang dahilan is yung financial. Imbes na mag-focus yung mga atleta natin nang husto, syempre may mga iba na may mga pamilya so kailangan nilang magtrabaho,” added the former MMA champion.

Pacio yielded the ONE strawweight world belt to American Jarred Brooks via unanimous decision in the main event of ONE 164 in Manila last month.

Four Team Lakay fighters, Eduard Folayang, Jenelyn Olsim, Geje Eustaquio and new comer Adonis Sevellino also suffered the same fate, losing to their respective foes at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Jeremy Pacatiw and Jhanlo Sangiao however raised Team Lakay’s banner after securing victories, earning them $50,000 performance bonuses.

Yap also gave Pacatiw and Sangiao P100,000 each that he promised after visiting the team in November last year.

With the additional support, Yap believes the team will flourish. He is also optimistic they will soon regain their titles.

“So much of the private sector’s support goes to other sports like basketball, volleyball, boxing and even golf.  Imagine what they can do kung may resources for training camps, regimen, nutrition and other key factors. Mark my word, Team Lakay will bring at least five word titles back to where it belongs,” Yap said. – Press release