Garrucho named PHL flag-bearer in Asian Winter Games

MANILA — Ice hockey player Carlo Miguel Garrucho will have the honor of carrying the Philippine flag in the opening ceremony of the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.

Garrucho will lead the delegation comprising his 22 teammates, speed skater Kathryn Magno, figure skater Shayanne Casapao, snowboarder Ryan Christopher Espiritu and team officials during the parade of nations at the Sapporo Dome. The opening ceremony will start at 4 p.m. (Japan time).

“I was quite surprised, very ecstatic and very, very honored to be chosen as flag-bearer,” said the 38-year-old Garrucho, an industrial engineering graduate from De La Salle University. He currently works as sales associate for Mars-Wrigley, a multi-national food company.

“The Filipino people can expect an all-out effort from the team in the Asian Winter Games. What the team lacks in experience, we will make up for in both hustle and heart,” said Garrucho, who plays defense.

The other members of the team are Gianpietro Iseppi and Paolo Spafford (goaltenders); Jed Benedict Reyes (goalkeeper); Hector Navasero, Patrick Russel Syquiatco, Jose Inigo Anton Cadiz, Georgino Orda, Paul Gabriel Sanchez, Julius Frederick Santiago, (defense); Allison Lapiz, Philip Cheng, Michael Johnson Wang, Jon David Samson, Miguel Serrano, Julian Frederick Santiago, Javier Alfonso Cadiz, John Steven Fuglister, Francois Emmanuel Gaultier, Benjamin Jorge Imperial, Lenard Rigel Lancero II, Carl Michael Montano and Miguel Alfonso Relampagos (forward).

The team has won the gold medal at the Hong Kong Invitational Cup Silver Plate Division (2014) and Gold Cup Division (2015) and the silver medal at the 2015 Philippine Ice Hockey Tournament Gold Cup division.

Hockey Philippines, which is headed by Christopher Sy, is an associate member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Meanwhile, figure skaters Samantha Cabiles and Jules Alpe are scheduled to arrive in Sapporo on Sunday night while Michael Christian Martinez will arrive on Monday.

More than 2,000 athletes from 31 countries are competing in five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events in the tournament that will run until February 26. Jean Malanum/PNA-northboundasia.com