HMAS Larrakia's crew took a break from intensive maritime exercises with the Philippine Navy last week to challenge the Filipinos on the sporting battlefield.
In the steamy heat of Camp Panacan Naval Base, Davao, Larrakia’s soccer, basketball and shooting teams went toe-to-toe with teams from the Philippine Navy patrol boat force, Exercise LUMBAS 14 staff and the Philippine Navy's small arms range sailors and officers.
Kicking off at one of the hottest times of the day, the soccer was always going to be a test of stamina and endurance, but an early goal by Larrakia set the tone for what was to come.
Some fancy midfield footwork by Larrakia’s Able Seaman Marine Technician Joshua Berrisford allowed the goals to flow for the Australians, while solid defensive work by Able Seaman Electronics Technician James McFarlane kept the Filipinos at bay at the back.
Team Manager, Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Mark Verhoeven said that despite being a player down throughout the game, and another one lost in the second half to injury, the team showed some true grit.
“From the opening whistle we went all out and dominated in the midfield which split their defence wide open,” he said.
“The Philippine Navy team mounted a spirited come back in the second half but we stood firm and prevailed in the end.”
At the final whistle the score was 11-1 in favour of the visiting Australians. However it wasn’t all bad news for the Philippine Navy they ran out 10-point winners in the basketball.
With scores level at one competition each, it came down to the shooting range where Larrakia’s team managed to come away with a close win.
Following the sporting engagements, crew from a number of the Philippine Navy vessels were treated to an Australian barbecue put on by Larrakia’s chefs.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics-Chef Iain Marino said the barbecue was a roaring success.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to expose our guests to the culinary delights of crocodile, kangaroo and buffalo,” he said.
“They all seemed to enjoy it and there was no food remaining at the end of the night.”
Larrakia is undertaking a six week South East Asia deployment to strengthen regional alliances and promote security cooperation.
Exercise LUMBAS is an annual bilateral exercise between the Australian and Philippine navies which focuses on maritime security and interdiction operations.
Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20142986.