ONE Warrior Series needed just two episodes to reach the dramatic heights that it had always promised. The series also forced the normally mild-mannered Mark Sangiao to display emotions as his command to put premium on attitude, teamwork seemed ignored by the victory-hungry contestants to boost their chances in the competition.
Episode 2 saw the athletes go through massive emotional and physical risks with Team Gravity and Team Passion going through a couple of tasks that tested not only their bodies but their sheer heart as well.
The episode also showed a different side of Team Lakay patriarch Mark Sangiao. While he’s a mild-mannered individual, Sangiao wasn’t one to sway on his morals when it came to teamwork and the athletes saw the coach’s stern side in their first task.
Sangiao introduced the aspirants to a grueling cardiovascular workout on the first morning of Episode 2 wherein the remaining 15 fighters ran Bineng Road in La Trinidad, Benguet. Despite the picturesque scenery surrounding the path, it was a calvary of workout for the athletes who had to finish a five-kilometer uphill course in 40 minutes.
They also had to make sure that they worked as a team, a reality that they disappointingly couldn’t keep up. While they showed solidarity with their teammates in the first half of the run, that teamwork was slowly ripped apart with each fighter now focused on reaching the finish line as an individual instead of as a group.
Sheraz Hussain, who was nursing an injury in his right knee, showed tremendous heart and was the first to cross the finish line. Despite his efforts, though, Sangiao wasn’t all too pleased with the Taekwondo standout from Far Eastern University.
As the fighters gradually finished the course, Sangiao grew even more disappointed that they forgot the root goal of the task and that was to bond as a team. Sangiao ultimately punished the athletes and tasked them to complete 50 pushups, a challenge that coaches Geje Eustaquioa and Joshua Pacio handed out differently.
“Earlier I was preaching about teamwork, but some of you were too individualistic. You were only looking after your own self. Your coaches were at the back, supporting your weaker teammates who fell behind. I hope we all learned a lesson here. That’s why I’ve decided that nobody won,” Sangiao said.
Eustaquio and Pacio, who joined their squads in the run, meted out the punishment that Sangiao declared and the two stalwarts took different approaches in the way they did it. Pacio joined his team in doing the task while Eustaquio doubled it and ordered his team to do a hundred.
That uphill run, though, wasn’t the only hurdle the teams faced as the next morning saw them compete in the Beasts of Burden challenge, which is part of the overall ONE Warrior Challenge.
The Beasts of Burden challenge had the aspirants running up a hill to deliver sacks of varying weights, and the team collecting the heaviest total weight gets the win.
While the Beasts of Burden challenge did see the teamwork that Sangiao longed for, it also saw tempers flare up with Team Passion’s Ariel Oliveros and Team Gravity’s Genil Francisco shoving each other during the competition.
Despite the intense challenges that the fighters experienced, both teams still pushed on with several of the fighters battling through the physical pain they endured over the past couple of days.
In the end, it was Team Passion that took the win after hauling a total of 650 kilograms to Team Gravity’s 550 kg. It also marked the second time that Pacio’s team won a challenge at this point in the series.
By Armando M. Bolislis