MANILA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines might be able to sweep all of the floorball gold medals up for grabs as the sport returns in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games calendar, the country's national floorball team manager said.
"I think we can win both (men's and women's) golds in the SEA Games," said team manager Peter Eriksson in the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum held on Tuesday.
Philippine floorball has been beefing up its national team by recruiting Filipino-foreigners from Sweden, where the sport originated.
The national team is also being mentored by a world-renowned coach in Noel Johansson, a pure-blooded Filipino who was adopted by Swedish parents.
"We have Swedish-Filippino players, half-Filipino players, nine players from Sweden helping the team, so it will be good preparation for the SEA Games," said Johansson.
Floorball is a type of floor hockey with five players and a goalkeeper in each team. Philippine Floorball Association (PFA) president Ralph Ramos described the sport as basically "hockey minus the skates."
"And you don't play on the ice. You just need a stick, a ball, rubber shoes and you're ready to go," said Ramos.
"It's very fast-paced, very exciting, and the nature of the sport is easy to play," he added.
It was first played in the 2015 SEA Games, where the Filipinos finished last out of the four countries that competed.
From July 7 to 12, the Philippines will host the Asia-Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup in Binan, which forms part of the federation's preparation for the biennial multi-sport event.
"We hope to surprise everyone in this tournament and be a good build up for our campaign in the SEA Games," Ramos concluded.
Thailand and Singapore remain the biggest threat to the Philippines' gold medals bid in the event in the SEA Games, with Malaysia and Indonesia completing the five-team cast.
The 2019 SEA Games is scheduled to be held in Manila, Subic, New Clark City, and other sites, from November 30-December 11.