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Central Luzon Crusaders

Central Luzon Crusaders in PH NRL Tournament

BY ERIK ELEFANTE – The Central Luzon Crusaders previously known as the Indang Rebels, a Papua New Guinea (PNG) University/College student side will be the final team in the proposed Philippine National Rugby League (PNRL) competition to be held in third quarter of 2016.

The Crusaders competed in the annual PNG Independence day competition over the last 3 years since 2013, held at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) in Cavite.

Crusaders will play against the Albay Vulcans, Manila Storm and University of Batangas Toro sides in this four team competition.

Gorden Asa a 24year old PNG national taking a break from his third year Civil Engineering degree at Cavite State University will be leading the Central Luzon Crusaders in the PNRL’s inaugural season.

Gorden has lived in Indang, Cavite in the Philippines for over 3 years and is originally from the Enga province in PNG. Like many of the PNG University and College students studying in the Philippines he started playing League in primary school at the North Goroka primary school in the Eastern Highlands.

In 2013 when Gorden went to the Philippines to study, he was one of the organizing students who formed the Indang Rebels. To celebrate PNG Independence day at AUP where they played against another four PNG student sides in a Rugby League competition.

Since joining the PNRL board in 2013 the same year Gorden went to study in the Philippines Marc Leabres a Filipino-Australian, “Performance Analyst” with the NRL Cronulla Sharks has been looking for ways to help develop NRL games in the Philippines.

For Marc whose family hails from Central Luzon and who wanted to honor the Filipino-Australian team he played for in the PNRL’s second Rugby League event in 2013, the Zambales 9’s, as the Clark city Crusaders – he combined both names for sentimental and PNRL historical reasons and established the Central Luzon Crusaders.

Marc sid,”Currently there are 10 Filipinos who occasionally attend training sessions with us. More importantly we have 2 PE teachers from Cavite State University showing interest as well as a player from one of the local Filipino Union teams”.