FUELED with determination and life-changing lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine Dancesport delegation vowed to sweep the dancesport competition in the Hanoi Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam.

The team had a fitting send-off at the Sky Deck Beverly View in Cebu City on Sunday, May 1, 2022, organized by dancesport patron and former Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) chairman Edward Hayco.

The National Dancesport squad made its presence felt in the 2019 Manila SEA Games, winning 10 gold medals and two silvers to help Team PH seize the overall championship with a 149-117-121 gold-silver-bronze haul.

“We are very ready and well prepared for the SEA Games. Twelve gold medals are at stake for dancesport, and our goal is to sweep all the events and win 12 golds for the county,” said coach Ronnie Steeve Vergara.

Modern Standard coach German Enriquez said to win in the place of the host country is a huge thing.

The PH delegation will be represented by four pairs, namely: Pearl Marie Cañeda and Wilbert Aunzo, Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Saballo, Sean Aranar and Anna Nualla, and Mark Gayon and Mary Joy Renigen.

The Cebuano duo of Cañeda and Aunzo shone brightly in the 2019 SEA Games with three gold medals, while the pair of Marquez from Cebu and Saballo of Baguio City bagged two gold medals and one silver medal.

Nualla shared that the pandemic was tough for them. They could hardly train and no competitions were held due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Saballo said it was tough physically and mentally for them.

The Hanoi Sea Games was supposed to be held last year but it was moved to a later date due to the pandemic.

Even Aunzo had a difficult time and gained 15 kilos during the hiatus.

The dancesports athletes have all hurdled those mental and physical challenges and are now 100 percent ready for the sporting conclave.

Aside from the national coaches, the PH delegation also received help from world-renowned and world champion dancers Edgar Marcos Borjas of Spain, Alina Nowak of Poland, and Paolo Bosco of Italy.

“I would just like to thank our coaches, our sponsor Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation), and also to sir Edward Hayco,” said Aunzo.

Also present at the send-off was the technical manager for Dancesports Rendon “Loloi” Crisaldo.

The SEA Games is set to take place from May 12 to 23 in Vietnam.