Jonathan De Castro (C) with Philippine national team players Paolo Spafford (L) and Gianpietro Iseppi

By Luisa Morales –

Former Philippine Ice Hockey National Team head coach Jonathan De Castro will be in charge of scouting Filipino-American talent in the sport.

This after De Castro was named program director for ice hockey of Fil-Am Nation Select earlier this week.

De Castro, who led the Philippines to a bronze medal finish in the Challenge Cup of Asia held in Manila in 2018, will oversee and cultivate Fil-Am ice hockey prospects.

Talents that De Castro will gather as program director can be tapped to beef up the Philippines’ growing competitiveness in ice hockey.

De Castro currently runs a training academy for goalies based in New York.

Ice hockey has been a growing program in the Philippines since the country joined the International Ice Hockey Federation back in 2016.

Since then, the team has enjoyed success in the region.

In the past two editions of the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines got a gold and bronze medal finish in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

The ice hockey team was set to participate in Division IV of the IIHF World Championships in 2020 but the competition was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

De Castro and Fil-Am Nation Select’s ice hockey program will be a shot in the arm for the growing interest and participation in ice hockey back in the Philippines.