The Philippines lacrosse team is looking to prepare for the 2023 World Lacrosse Men's Championship as they will play in San Diego this summer. 11 of the 23 players on the team looks to build off its 2018 Men's Championship performance in Israel, where they finished 10th out of 46 teams in its debut.
The team finished in the top four spots to qualify for a spot in the championship when they played in South Korea. According to World Lacrosse Sport, “We’re not a big program, so we kind of know who we have and what their skillsets are, on and off the field,” said Ron Garcia, president of the Philippines Lacrosse Association.
“No one believed that we were going to be competitive, let alone finish 10th in the world, leading up to that championship,” said 2018 team captain Justin Rodis, who will once again represent the Philippines in 2023. “It was just an unbelievable ride.” To get ready, they look to put a camp together and scrimmages before the tournament. As for now, the team looks to solidify their relationship as a unit.
Players on the team coming from the United States, Canada, and Australia all come together and prepare for the challenge. San Diego will be an opportunity for the team to gain more of a following and bring buzz to the men's national team. This isn't the Philippines' only team however, they will also have a men’s open team, a women’s open team and a youth team to participate in the World Lacrosse Festival that coincides with the championship.
“Our mission as an organization is to grow the game back home in the Philippines,” Rodis said. “But it takes a village, and these are part of the grassroots steps that we take. We want to engage with the Filipino community around the country because ultimately if we don’t get support in the U.S., it becomes more difficult to generate awareness and equipment donations back home.” - World Lacrosse Sport
The tournament against Israel begins on June 23 and the league wants to continue and bring lacrosse to the Philippines and inspire a generation to take on a new sport.
To help support the team, check out what expenses are listed on their fundraiser page.
Cover Photo Credit: World Lacrosse Sport