Handball squad caps PH's SEAG campaign with bronze

The Philippine handball team managed a bronze medal. Jan Ballesteros

SUBIC - The Philippines capped off its golden performance in the same place it jumpstarted its medal rush in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Subic played host to the triathlon event, where the country officially kicked off the medal haul after winning a pair of gold mints in the men's and women's category, respectively.

Hours before the curtain falls on the regional meet at the New Clark City, the national beach handball team bagged the bronze medal at the converted Subic Tennis Court here.

Thailand beat the Filipinos led by former UP basketball player Andrew Harris, 40-34. Coming into the game, the team Philippines had a chance to nab the gold, albeit slim.

"Of course we wanted to take home the gold medal but I'm still proud of our performance against Vietnam and Thailand. They have been playing for more than 10 years," said head coach Jana Franquelli.

As expected, Vietnam pocketed the top prize, while Thailand claimed silver with the victory against the Philippines.

Harris and the handball squad, which is trying to introduce the sport to the basketball-loving nation, raced off to a rousing 0-2 start.

They staked that unblemished record against top ranked Vietnam and ultimately fell prey to the latter before falling short against the Thais on Wednesday morning - a loss that completely dashed their hopes of at least snagging a silver mint.

"I'm just glad it (handball) is getting the exposure it's getting," said Harris.

Still, the country posted its best overall performance in the biennial meet since hosting it in 2005 with 149 gold medals and 386 overall.

Meanwhile, American band Black Eyed Peas will grace the closing ceremony at 5 p.m.