WITH Team Lakay virtually becoming the undisputed top mixed martial arts (MMA) team in the country, the hopes of having their own gymnasium may soon be a reality.
Following the turnover of a check worth P567,718.50 from Suntrust Properties, Inc. president Harrison Paltongan, who personally oversaw the conduct of a golf for-a-cause held at Sherwood Hill Golf Club on June 1, Team Lakay is looking at constructing their own gym and help the city in propagating the sport.
The check will be used the improvement of equipment of their rented gym.
“That’s an ultimate dream for us,” said coach Mark Sangiao.
Sangiao said having their own gym maybe costly but this will help the team defray expenses in their operations.
“Maybe a lot (of) donors will be the first step,” added ONE Championship lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang.
Last week, the group together with Suntrust reassured its commitment in helping grassroots in the region particularly combative sports where most Cordillerans excel.
Paltongan, a lawyer from Otucan, Bauko, Mountain Province and a known personality in the country’s real estate industry, is not a fan of MMA not until he learned the exploits of Folayang and other Team Lakay fighters. This prompted him to convince the company to help the team.
“As a native of the Mountain Province, I fully support the endeavor for the youth of Cordillera especially those involving education and sports,” Paltongan said.
He said that Folayang went to a Suntrust event to deliver a speech and Paltongan said he was moved with the MMA warrior’s story.
“I hope this fund will help enhance their training and inspire other youth,” said Paltongan, adding that he was persuaded to support Team Lakay because they can be models for Cordillera youth.
Paltongan added he has personally seen how Team Lakay had grown from mere local legends and become famous faces in the international MMA scene.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on June 15, 2017.
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