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Manila Storm Rugby Kickoff, Nov 7

Manila Storm V HK Nov 7 2015 Flyer (206x300)BY ERICK ELEFANTE – Manila Oct. 18 – It was 1:00 pm in the afternoon last 3rd September  when Papua New Guinea (PNG) national living in the Philippines Mr. Tim Buipe turned up at the Luneta Park Grand Stand area in Manila with a single Rugby ball in his hands.

He had just received Facebook messages a week earlier that he was the new Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) local Development Officer. Now he was holding his first Rugby League tryout and training session in Manila’s, if not the Philippines most iconic National park, the Luneta Park otherwise known the world over as Rizal Park, named after the Philippines National Hero!

So on that fateful afternoon over a month ago, six people turned up to his first Rugby League tryout and training session, four Filipinos who play for local Rugby Union clubs and two other Fil-Americans who play in the local Gridiron competition. The guys must have enjoyed their first taste of “The Greatest Game of All” – Rugby League because they stayed till 5pm with Tim running them through some drills.

A week later Tim’s players increased with 8 turning up to the second Rugby League tryout and training session and consequently Tim also had  three Rugby balls including League Steedon’s! One was generously donated by  Australian Tim Seymour and the other by Paulo Jordan from LA LIGA Sharks Rugby Union club.

By the third training day , fourteen locals came , along full set of brand new agility cones and markers, kindly donated by Jonnie Pete Tampos, Tim could now conduct some agility and footwork drills.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ahead, Tim was able to assemble the Manila Storm’s “First 17”, a full Rugby League squad that looks forward to play its inaugural game against a Hong Kong resident team on November 7 at Southern Plains Alabang, Metro Manila, with game to commence at 2:00 pm.

The Manila Storm “First 17”, are a motley crew of local Filipino Rugby Union and Gridiron players, complemented by atheletes from basketball, football, martial arts, sepak takraw, tennis and track and field athletes.

Tim said, ““With the Rugby League match between Manila Storm and the Residence XIII from Hong Kong on 7th  November 2015, the Boys are looking forward it the game being their first Rugby League game notwithstanding. The boys are ready to play with their heart and with the pride for their wonderful country, the Philippines. 

The locals call it playing with “puso” or heart. Local Pinoys, expats and Filipino descent foreigners from Diaspora will go to Southern Plains Alabang, on November 7, to support a pioneering group of new Filipino Rugby League heroes as they represent the Philippines:

Forwards: Bruce Neil S. Pipit, Dan Emmanuel R. Acero, Eddie Tesoro Jnr., Fidel Mignon C. Sarausad, John Franklin E. Agunod, Joseph Alfred Laquihon, Lauren Chris M. Ciruelos and Spencer Adan Mariano Hansen Javier, 

Backs: Amiel Jay Santago, Benedict Lusterios, Elijah Yosef Braulio Hansen Javier, Ernesto C. Ganat Jnr., John Bernard E. Agunod, Michael Estareja Tome Jnr., Romario A. Capule, Saddam Glendale Von Lorenz S and Timothy Buipe

The Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) is the governing body of Rugby League Football in the Philippines. Its mission is to enable all Filipinos to have a healthy lifestyle through their participation in Rugby League Football and to be competitive amongst the Asian Rugby League playing nations.and to be competitive amongst the Asian Rugby League playing nations. It is a Non-profit Volunteer organization. The Philippines is an observer member of the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) and the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) based in Sydney, Australia.