The Brunei team (yellow) posing with Vietnam (red) before their final on Sunday.Courtesy of the national petanque team
The national petanque team made the country proud by winning silver at the 8th Pan Pacific Petanque Championship in the Philippines on Sunday.
The trio of Mohd Abdillah Tamin, Hj Mat Rasil Hj Ahmad and Hj Karim Hj Ahmad exceeded all expectations by reaching the final, though they 11-6 to Vietnam in the encounter.
The trio kicked off their campaign with a win over Japan in the first round before defeating Indonesia in the quarter-finals, and they then went past Singapore in the semi-finals to book their final with Vietnam in the tournament.
Brunei decided to divide their team into two groups after hosts Philippines allowed each country to register two teams in the tournament. The other team consisting of Mazlan Hj Yahya, Mohd Wirna Hj Mohd Yasin and Pg Asmalina Pg Hj Muhd Jaya only managed to finish 12 out of the 22 teams at the three-day tournament.
Hj Karim, the vice-president of the Brunei Darussalam Petanque Federation (BDPF) and Hj Mat Rasil, the substitute player were called to play in the tournament - with Mohd Abdillah joining them in the team. "Alhamdulillah, as the manager of the team, I am very proud with the achievement of our national side after winning silver," said team manager Hj Rosmin Hj Hassan.
"This achievement will definitely raise the country's standard at the international arena and put Brunei at the same level with the other countries who have played the sport earlier. "Entering the final was highly desired by all teams competing in the tournament, and once again - despite losing in the final - I am very proud that all countries competing were watching our national team in action.
"I hope that this achievement will also make petanque one of the most popular sports in the country, and I also would like to take this opportunity to call the youth in the country to involve themselves in the sport as I believe that Brunei have a very good future in petanque," added the manager.
Brunei bagged bronze in the triple category of the Pan Pacific Petanque Championship last year when they hosted the event in June.
The trio of Hamidon Hj Hamid, Junaidi Ali and Hj Yussof Mohammad shared third with Indonesia after losing 13-6 to Vietnam in the semi-finals at the Petanque Pitch of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
They defeated New Zealand 13-0 and Singapore 13-6 in the qualifying rounds before making their way to the semi-final following a 13-5 victory over their fellow countrymen Abdul Wahab Salihin Hj Besar, Marhalim Hj Juni and Azmi Eddy Mohd Harris in the quarter-finals.