MORE TOURNEYS. Pilipinas Sambo Federation, Inc. (PSFI) President Paolo Tancontian (left) and daughter Sydney grace the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) Forum at Berouz Persian Cuisine in Quezon City on Thursday (Nov. 10, 2022). PSFI will hold more tournaments next year to discover more talents. (PNA photo by Jesus Escaros Jr.)

MANILA – The Pilipinas Sambo Federation, Inc. (PSFI) will have a busy schedule next year with a number of tournaments lined up to promote the sport, a Russian martial art played similar in many ways to judo and jujutsu.

Aside from the National Sambo Open, the PSFI will stage the Mayor's Cup featuring 30 countries.

The PSFI is also looking forward to the 6th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) scheduled from Nov. 17 to 26, 2023 in Bangkok and Chonburi province in Thailand.

This week, members of the national team will join the Philippine Sports Commission-organized 8th Women’s Martial Arts Festival which starts on Nov. 12 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The tournament is a qualifying for the AIMAG.

“Women are inspiration because one of our biggest achievements came from women. Our first Olympic gold medalist is a woman. This is the first time that sambo is included in the Women's Festival and it's also the first time combat sports are in the AIMAG program. We always lean towards gender equality,” said PSFI President Paolo Tancontian during the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) Forum at Berouz Persian Cuisine in Quezon City on Thursday.

He said holding more tournaments will help them find new talents that will represent the country in future international tournaments.

“I hope the support for sambo will continue so we can better promote the sport and bring more honor to the country. We are thankful to the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee for all the help," he added.

Tancontian said the National Sambo Open will select the athletes who will compete in Bokator, a traditional sport of Cambodia which will host the 32nd Southeast Asian Games from May 5 to 17, 2023.

“We’ll be sending our best fighters such as Mark Striegl and Rene Catalan in Cambodia," said Tancontian, who played for eight years in the national judo team. "They will have to undergo extensive training after passing the selection process in the National Open."

Tancontian and seasoned canoe-kayak coach Len Escollante, will serve as deputies of Team Philippines chef de mission Chito Loyzaga in Cambodia.

Tancontian's daughter, SEA Games silver medalist Sydney Sy-Tancontian, also attended the weekly session supported by PSC, Games and Amusement Board and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The 22-year-old Sy-Tancontian, captured the silver medal in the women's +80-kg category at the FISU World Cup Combat Sports in Samsun, Turkey last September.

"I am happy to win the silver medal. I realized I really need to improve to take the sport to another level," said Sy, a senior sports management student from University of Santo Tomas.

Before her stint in Turkey, Sy pocketed the gold medal at the Asian Sambo Championships in Lebanon and the Singapore Judo Open. (PNA)