With the majority of the national surfing team advancing into the second round of the World Surfing Games, Pinoy surfers will have to deal with some very tough odds to punch their way to the Olympics.

/ 1 June 2021

Day 1 of the World Surfing Games was a success for the Philippine team as John Mark “Marama” Tokong, Piso Alcala, Daisy Valdez, and Nilbie Blancada secured top-tier finishes of their respective heats. 

Single mom and Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Nilbie Blancada outscored Amuro Tsuzuki, one of Japan’s top-notchers in women’s shortboard, emerging as the highest-scoring Philippine entry when she topped Heat 12 with 12.3 points.

2019 Sea Games bronze medallist Daisy Valdez managed to grab second place in Heat 24, with Japanese Shin Matsuda ahead of her with 14.4 points.

Vea Estrellado did not reach the second round after dealing with World Surfing League veterans in Heat 5, which 2017 ISA World Junior Champion Alyssa Spencer of the USA emerged as the top performer with 16 points total.

But, the Sorsogon super rookie earned her spot in the relegation round and will have a chance to reach the second round with good points earned.

Piso Alcala of Siargao secured second in men’s Heat 24 with 8.44 points, with Australian Ryan Callinan at first (13.74) and Cristian Portelli in third (6.26).

Tokong, a SEA Games bronze medallist, emerged as the second-highest scoring Filipino surfer that logged in 11.9 points just behind Heat 16 top notcher Anthony Fillingen’s 12.97 points. 

Accompanying the national team in El Salvador is La Union-based coach Ian Saguan, who is also helpfully streaming the women’s heats on his Instagram page.

With the upcoming second round of the surfing league, Pinoy surfers will have to go through with international veterans as the World Surfing Games are surfing’s final Olympic qualifying event. 

Tokong, in particular, will go against defending World Surfing Games champion Italo Ferreira of Brazil who showed fluidity and style to land the highest heat total of the day with 16.43 points in the first round. 

Meanwhile, Alcala will face Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, who is already assured of an Olympic slot.

Five slots for men and seven for women are still up for grabs in the Olympic surfing event.