By Vincent Kierk Tugnao


The Thai curse is not over yet.

The Philippine Men’s Floorball Team ended their campaign as runners-up after suffering a nail-biting 4-6 loss to familiar foes Thailand in the Asia-Oceania Cup finale at OCBC Arena in Singapore, Saturday.

Regardless, the National Team was able to punch its legitimate World Cup ticket as it dominated the Group Stage before bowing out in the title match.

The last time the regional contenders faced off in an international tournament was back in the 2020 World Floorball Championships in Finland, where the Philippines lost in a nerve-wracking shootout to claiming the 13th place and a lone Asian slot for the 2022 World Games.

The Pinoy floorballers also suffered defeats from Thailand in the 2019 Manila SEA Games (4-14), 2019 Biñan Asian Cup (7-13), and the 2015 Singapore SEA Games (2-11).

Filipino forward Kim Varga displayed an early flamboyance with his pace shot in the 2nd minute, after both teams composed a high tempo game in the opening frame of the first period.

The battle of sticks and saves was intensified in the second period until the Thai team cracked the game’s tenacity through a massive goal fest from Surapong Sangmongkhol in the 24th minute, Pawat Thaidit’s lead stealer in the 26th minute, and Veerasak Pimpa’s unexpected slingshot in the 29th.

In the third period, Thai forward Sangmongkhol poured another goal into the net to justify the opponent’s unanswered goal streak. But Filipino defender Ludvig Porral never settled into silence as he broke the team’s goal drought in the 36th minute.

Scoring rebuttal continues as Thai captain Thaidit delivered a power play at the 40th minute. Then the Philippines got a surprise point from Thailand’s GK Yotsaphong Chaiphring's own goal a minute later, trailing 3-5. 

Thailand’s Alexander Rinefalk maneuvered a shot right in the middle in 43rd minute before Melvin Alm Mendoza forced a recovery goal seconds later yet it was too late for the Philippines.
Goalkeeper Patrik Nessbo emerged as Player of the Match for the Philippine side after amassing 16 saves.

Besides, the Philippines will be going to the Switzerland World Cup alongside Thailand, Singapore, and Australia, scheduled from November 5 to 13 this year.

A week ago, the women’s counterpart also bagged the silver medal in a wide 1-4 margin loss against the hosts Singapore.

Edited by Diana Mae Salonoy