Malilay sisters to represent PH in world jiu-jitsu tourney in Kazakhstan this month
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The vaunted Malilay sisters of Cebu will compete for glory and country in the upcoming 2023 World Championships of Jiu-Jitsu in Astana, Kazakhstan, from August 22 to 25, 2023.
Eliecha Zoe and Ellise Xoe Malilay, based in Dubai, UAE, will represent the Philippines in their respective weight divisions along with their teammates, Santino Luis Luzuriaga and Blaine Hann Tagudena.
Atrixion MMA Academy
They’re all members of the Jiujitsu Federation of the Philippines Inc.
Besides the Philippines’ official Jiujitsu NSA, the Malilay siblings represent the Dubai-based Atrixion MMA Academy.
Eliecha Zoe, 17, will vie in the under-21 female -45 kilograms division, while the younger Ellise Xoe, 15, will vie in the under-18 female -44 kgs division.
Luzariaga will compete in the under-18 male -60 kgs and Tagudena in the under-18 male -66 kgs.
The Malilay siblings are best known for their coveted gold medal win in last year’s 14th Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiujitsu Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Tourney crucial for Malilay sisters
Their father, Dante, told CDN Digital that this major international tournament would be crucial for his two girls since they would be representing the Philippines’ national youth jiujitsu team.
Winning a medal in the tournament would further encourage the Philippine government to allocate a budget to the youth team, according to Dante Malilay.
Despite the lack of support, the Malilay siblings and their teammates received an encouraging message from the Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Alfonso Ferdinand Ver.
“I commend Eliecha and Ellise Malilay for their commitment to excelling at their sport, Brazilian Jiujitsu, at such a young age, representing their country and obtaining victory for the Philippines in international competitions. This sends a strong message to the international community that the Filipino youth is ready to stand, toe-to-toe, with the world’s best athletes,” said Ver in a statement forwarded to CDN Digital from his office.
Generation of achievers
“As their parents are Overseas Filipinos, they also represent a generation of achievers from the diaspora who grew up abroad but whose hearts are truly Filipino such that they sacrifice time and effort to bring glory to the Philippines in the international arena. Theirs is the story of many Filipino families here in the UAE and worldwide, and they deserve the support and admiration of all Filipinos.”
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