Team Lakay coach: No special treatment for Jhanlo

Published June 23, 2021, 6:29 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao made sure to treat all of his wards equally and such is the case even for his 18-year-old son Jhanlo, the latest and youngest member to sign with ONE Championship.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao (right) with sons Jhanlo (center) and Marko

Sangiao told the Manila Bulletin that their father-son relationship would have to be set aside for a while as professionals in the sporting industry, particularly as mixed martial arts fighters.

“The more the be-baby-hin mo ‘yan, the more na ‘di siya magiging successful sa career niya. Kaya hangga’t maari pahirapan mo pa (The more you take him lightly, the more he won’t be successful in his career. As much as possible, make the training difficuly for him),” Sangiao said with a chuckle. “Doon sa point na mahirap, doon sa point na mag-iimprove siya. (Up to the that difficulty where he can improve as much)

“Tingin ko wala namang [iba sa training]. Tayo, nakapag-produce tayo ng mga world champions and kung ano ‘yong natutunan ko doon, kung ano ‘yong mga matutunan ko pa, ‘yon ang ibibigay ko sa kanila. Lahat pare-parehas sa training (I think there’s no difference with the training among others. We, Team Lakay, had produced world champion and whatever I learned and will continue to learn, that’s what I’ll give to my students. I always treat them equally in training).”

READ: Team Lakay coach: Watch out for our new generation

Jhanlo is set to compete in the stacked bantamweight division, joining the likes of seniors Kevin Belingon, a former world champion, Jeremy Pacatiw, and Stephen Loman, the longest-reigning titleholder in BRAVE Combat Federation.

But Sangiao said Jhanlo would have to adjust to featherweights sooner or later as his body built continues to develop given his age.

READ: Team Lakay coach grateful for recent signings with ONE Championship

And while it’s clear that there’s no special treatment for Jhanlo, the older Sangiao has nothing but wise words and praises for his son — this time not only as a long-time coach but a supportive father.

It won’t be an easy road for Jhanlo but coach Mark believes his son got what it takes to become a future champion as well, just like his “kuyas” in Team Lakay.

READ: Jhanlo Sangiao wants to be a future MMA legend

“Na-excite ako na ninerbyos. Ninerbyos in a sense na makakalaro na rin siya sa gusto niya (I got excited and nervous at the same time. Nervous in a sense that he finally achieved what he really wanted),” added the 42-year-old Team Lakay patriarch. “Napag-usapan namin ito ng matagal and ‘di ko alam na ito ang kahahantungan, na mapunta sa pro level. Akala ko naglalaro lang [siya] at ito na ‘yon (We have talked about this for quite some time now and I didn’t know that it will lead to this situation, for him to fight on pro level. Before I though that it was just for fun but now, this is it).

“Kung ito ‘yong way or ito ‘yong ni-lead ng Panginoon para sa kanya, then do it. Kailangan niyang pagbutihan (If this is the path he chose or if this is the path the Lord made for him, then do it. He needs to gives his best).

With a rich experience from the amateur scene, Jhanlo brings in a fresh 3-0 professional record in the Circle with the latest win coming from a rear-naked choke against Cris John Delica in Team Lakay Championship last December 2019.

READ: Coach Mark Sangiao on son Jhanlo: He found MMA and it made me more than proud