CIGNAL PLAY-PBAPC PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Robert Bolick

CIGNAL PLAY-PBAPC PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Robert Bolick
(MARCH 2-6)

ROBERT BOLICK
(NORTHPORT)

HOPES of a streaking NorthPort side of catching the last playoffs bus in the PBA Governors Cup gained a timely lift following another pair of victories behind the giant efforts of the returning Robert Bolick.

Fresh from his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Manila qualifiers of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the slick-shooting guard came back with a bang as the Batang Pier downed Blackwater and Terrafirma one after the other, to stretch the team’s winning streak to five games and shore up its post-season drive.

The gunner out of San Beda did it all behind an impressive near triple-double average of 25.5 points, 11.5 assists, and 9.0 rebounds in guiding NorthPort inside the Top Eight with an even 5-5 card entering the homestretch of the eliminations.

The performance earned Bolick the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period March 2 to 6.

Bolick bested the likes of June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel, and the NLEX pair of Kris Rosales and Kevin Alas for the weekly honor being handed out by the men and women covering the PBA beat.

“Kailangan ko talaga bumawi sa team kasi nanalo sila ng dalawang mabibigat na laban,” said Bolick, who missed NorthPort’s massive wins against league-leader Magnolia and fellow playoff hopeful Phoenix Super LPG due to his duty with the national team the past week.

“Happy na happy ako na binigyan nila ng life ‘yung team namin. ‘Yung 0-5, ‘yung ibang team, puwedeng bumigay eh. Pero hindi kami. Nagbago na mentality namin. Dumating si Kuya Arwind (Santos), may winning culture. Kailangan namin ‘yun. Akala ng iba, wala na kami. Pero eto kami, lumalaban kami,” he added.

Bolick certainly made up for his brief absence, exploding for 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals in the Batang Pier’s 116-103 win over Blackwater last Wednesday.

The 26-year-old cager then turned to a crafty facilitator the next game, dishing out 17 assists on top of his 21 markers, seven boards, and three steals in a 124-117 comeback win by the Batang Pier over Terrafirma after trailing by as many as 19 points.

The 17 assists by Bolick is also a career-high and the most by any player since Kiefer Ravena had the same assists output in NLEX’s 113-111 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra in the 2019 Governors’ Cup in Dubai.

Bolick likewise averaged 3.0 steals during the same playing period.

Coach Pido Jarencio said Bolick’s return could not have come at a better time for the team, which completely seeks to turn things around by making the playoffs after a lifeless start at 0-5.

Northport has one more game remaining in the eliminations against TNT on Friday.

“Berto is Berto. He is the heart and soul of the team. Blessing na nakabalik na siya. Tutulungan na niya tayo at tutulungan na niya kami sa run namin. Malaking bagay si Berto,” said Jarencio. (PR)

Smash head coach impressed by next gen of PH shuttlers for SEAG

SMASH Pilipinas head coach Rosman Razak finally had a chance to see the badminton players of our country during the MVP Second Badminton Cup held from February 23-25 at the Olympic Badminton Center in Ugong, Pasig.

Despite local shuttlers not being able to play over the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Razak was pleased with not just the turnout but also the performances of the players.

“I think it’s a great tournament, especially for the players,” said Razak, who was hired by the Philippine Badminton Association last October. “It has been so long already that we don’t have a tournament. Now, it’s the time for them to have a tournament and it’s a really good showing from them.”

Of course, standing out in the tournament were national team players Ros Pedrosa (men’s singles champion), Thea Pomar and Nicole Albo (women’s doubles champions), and Solomon Padiz Jr. and July Villabrille (men’s doubles champions).

But what surprised the Malaysian tactician was the next generation saying, “I think especially from the youngsters because you can see all the youngsters really play so well in this tournament.”

Impressing Razak the most were 20-year-old Mika De Guzman of Ateneo and 23-year-old Jaja Andres of UP — both of whom faced off in the women’s singles finals with De Guzman winning, 21-14, 21-17.

Also catching the eye of the two-time Southeast Asian Games silver medalist were men’s singles runner-up Jewel Albo, 18; women’s doubles specialist Susmita Ramos, 20; and men’s singles fourth placer Mark Anthony Velasco, 20.

Razak knows and feels the importance of getting these players into the proper mindset and he can be seen talking to all the players after the games.

It is because the former Malaysian national team tactician believes that training and competition are two completely different scenes.

“Yeah, because I think I was here for almost four months already, and it’s always been in the training. The training is really good, but then, of course, the tournament is much more different,” he said.

“After this, I also have the idea how we need to move on, because this is the real thing — we need to move up,” Razak admitted.

With competitions left and right in the next few months — among others, the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May — the freshly minted coach and the rest of the federation need to up their ante. Adding to this is the fact that the country went medal-less when it hosted the previous edition on home soil.

“I think, frankly speaking, we are still far from the other countries,” he opined. “However, I think we are in a good position to compete with the other countries. But of course, we need a lot to do in the future.” (PR)

Bejino bows out of 400-m freestyle heats, Mangliwan competes in 100-meter-T52 race finals

TOKYO –Slowly getting used to the spotlight, Gary Bejino was unhappy with his form after bowing out of the men’s 400-meter freestyle-S6 heats of the Tokyo Paralympic Games swimming championships at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre here on Thursday.   

 
Coming off a two-day break, Bejino checked in with a time of five minutes and 52.28seconds in finishing 13th and last overall in the two heats, which left him dissatisfied, according to swimming coach Tony Ong. The Pinoy Paralympian finished 46 seconds behind Rio Paralympic bronze medalist  Alison Glock, who led the top eight qualifiers in a time of 5:06.28 in the finals later in the afternoon.

“Gary did not make it to the finals, although nag-improve naman po time niya compared to his time of 6:10 in Berlin,” said Ong, referring to the athlete’s clocking in the Internationale Deutsche MeisterschaftenBerlin 2021 World Para Swimming Series in Germany last June.

“He (Bejino) was not happy with his performance and will go hard and try to improve in the 100-meter backstroke tomorrow,” the coach said of the swimmer’s fourth and final event where he bagged bronze medals in the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.  

Bejino will plunge into action in the second heat in lane No. 2 at 9:23 a.m. (8:23 a.m. in Manila) on Friday, with the top eight swimmers entering the finals in the afternoon.

Also competing the same day is wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan, who competes in the men’s 100-meter-T52 race finals at 11:07 am. (10:07 a.m.), rounding out the Philippine Paralympic campaign in Tokyo fully supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.

“Just give me a good start,” said coach para athletic Joel Deriada of the message he sent his athlete from Manila.

“Kapag   maganda yong start allthe way na yun. Kaya yun ang naging focus ng training namin the last few days.”

Deriada acknowledged that it will be a huge challenge for Mangliwan, whose personal best in the event is 18.98 seconds, in the run where 2012 London Paralympic triple gold medalist Raymond Martin of the US looms as the top favorite with a personal best of 16.41 seconds.

Meanwhile, Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo announced Thursday afternoon here that taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin was unable to leave for Tokyo after testing positive for COVID-19 in Manila, grounding him and his coach Dindo Simpao. Ganapin, 23, had been scheduled to compete in the men’s -75-kilogram-K44 event on Friday as the first Filipino para athlete to compete in the discipline at the Paralympics.

“Allain is upset at missing this opportunity, but prays this challenge will strengthen his resolve in later international competitions,” Barredo said in a statement.    

“The present pandemic has created so many obstacles for our para athletes.  The virus has been unforgiving and denied the chance to bring glory and honor to the Philippines,” the PPC chief rued. 

Besides Ganapin, powerlifter Achelle Guion was also left behind back home for getting infected while discus thrower Jeannette Aceveda suffered the same fate when she was tested here last week before she could compete in her event, slashing the original six PH Paralympic campaigners by half.(PR)

IPC pays tribute to former IOC president Rogge

 

Former International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge (Photo by TASS)

TOKYO (PNA/Xinhua/TASS) – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Monday paid tribute to the former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge following his passing on Sunday.

Rogge was the eighth president of the IOC from 2001 to 2013. He passed away on Sunday at the age of 79.

“Jacques was always a passionate supporter of the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Games and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts are very much with his wife Anne and family at this time,” IPC president Andrew Parsons said in a statement.

“During his time as IOC President, he signed several agreements that not only offered the IPC stability but enabled our organization to grow and flourish. We will forever be thankful for his assistance, as the IPC would not be the organization it is today without his support.

“In 2017, we recognized his services to the Paralympic Movement with our highest honor, the Paralympic Order. Today in Tokyo, we will recognize his passing by flying the Paralympic flag at half-mast at competition venues.”

‘An accomplished president’

IOC President Thomas Bach said Rogge was an accomplished president, helping “to modernize and transform the IOC.”

“Jacques loved sport and being with athletes – and he transmitted this passion to everyone who knew him. His joy in sport was infectious,” Bach said. “He will be remembered particularly for championing youth sport and for inaugurating the Youth Olympic Games. He was also a fierce proponent of clean sport, and fought tirelessly against the evils of doping. Since we were elected as IOC members together we shared a wonderful bond of friendship. The entire Olympic Movement will deeply mourn the loss of a great friend and a passionate fan of sport.”

Rogge was a Belgian rugby champion, a 16-time Belgian national champion, and a world champion in sailing. He also took part in three Olympic Games, in 1968, 1972 and 1976, in sailing.

After he finished his career as an athlete, he became President of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees.

In July 2001, he was elected the eighth President of the IOC and headed the organization until September 2013. Russia’s Sochi won the bid for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 under his presidency.

After the IOC Presidency, Rogge was a Special Envoy for Youth, Refugees and Sport to the United Nations. (Xinhua/TASS)

Pinoy athletes to get stronger, secure more victories: President Duterte

By Azer Parrocha  

MEDAL OF MERIT. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte bestows weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz with the Presidential Medal of Merit for winning the country’s first Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo during the awarding ceremonies at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on Monday (Aug. 23, 2021). Diaz also received PHP10 million as mandated by law, PHP5 million for breaking the Olympic record, an additional PHP3 million from the Office of the President (OP) and a house and lot in Zamboanga City. (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – After the Philippine team returned from Tokyo with its best Olympic finish with four medals, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed confidence that Filipino athletes will get better and stronger in securing “more victories” in the future.

Duterte made this remark as he led the awarding of incentives to Filipino Olympians, including the country’s first ever Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.

“I congratulate you once again for bringing pride and honor to the country and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in his speech.

He also described as “truly inspiring” the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship the Filipino athletes showed even amid the challenges in their training and competitions and looked forward to their further success.

“I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future. Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and our Filipino youth to channel their energies into sports and other productive activities keeping them away from the harmful vices,” he added.

Duterte said the strength and excellence of the country’s athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit and resilience as well as the determination to succeed.

“Our Tokyo 2020 medalists and Olympians truly embody our greatness as a people and as a nation,” he said.

Duterte thanked the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for their “unwavering” support and strong efforts in securing that the country’s athletes are ready to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

He assured that the government remains committed in providing full support to Filipino athletes.

Duterte also enjoined the POC, PSC, and other sports bodies to continue providing “much-needed” assistance to keep athletes on top of their game and help them become all-time greats.

He also congratulated Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa for the successful hosting of the 2020 Olympics and hoped that the upcoming 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo would also become a “resounding success”.

Diaz, who won it all in women’s weightlifting, was bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Merit and received PHP10 million as mandated by law, PHP5 million for breaking the Olympic record from PSC and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), an additional PHP3 million from the Office of the President (OP), and a house and lot in Zamboanga City.

Silver medalists Nesthy Petecio (women’s boxing) and Carlos Paalam (men’s boxing) and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial (men’s boxing) were awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kamagi.

Petecio and Paalam each got PHP5 million as mandated by law and an additional PHP2 million from Duterte’s office while Marcial received PHP2 million as mandated by law and an additional PHP1 million from OP.

Olympian Mansueto Onyok Velasco (men’s boxing) also received PHP500,000 after admitting that he failed to receive all the incentives pledged to him when he won a silver medal during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Other Olympians who did not win medals also received presidential citations and cash rewards worth PHP200,000 each from OP.

‘Wash your hands’

Meanwhile, Duterte reminded guests present at the event to wash after shaking hands with others as a precaution against Covid-19.

“With the pandemic spreading like a wildfire in the country and everybody taking precautions, it would not be a discourteous act to wash your hands even in front of the person you have shook hands because it’s the norm of the day,” he said.

He also joked about his decision to opt out from wearing a face mask while delivering his speech, noting he would pin the blame on his guests if he were to contract the respiratory disease.

“Kung mamatay ako dahil sa inyo ngayong hapon na ito, kayo ang nagdamay sa akin (If I die this afternoon, it would be your fault),” he quipped.

Duterte also cited the Philippine sports officials led by PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino for their contribution to the country’s successful campaign in Tokyo Olympics. (PNA)

PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSIONSTATEMENT OF GRATITUDE: IT TAKES A NATION TO REALIZE A DREAM

PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION
STATEMENT OF GRATITUDE

IT TAKES A NATION TO REALIZE A DREAM

When asked before about our medal prospects in the Olympics, we in the PSC unashamedly replied positively. We believed in the capacity and talent of this delegation to produce. More than that, we knew of the kind and amount of support that were poured into the preparation of our athletes for what is dubbed the greatest sports stage in the world.

After 97 years of waiting, we finally achieved what has been otherwise an elusive dream for decades, our first Olympic gold. Add to this the joy of witnessing the most prolific delegation in terms of medal haul, exceeding past productions in past Olympic editions.

The joy is overflowing, the triumphs fortifying the patriotic spirit of the Filipino people. There is no better time to say our thank-yous.

Foremost, we thank our partners in the Executive Office, the Senate, the Congress, PAGCOR, and other government agencies, who like us believed that sports have a place in nation building and our athletes are worth supporting. Being in government, we had to take the first steps to ensure a rich ground for a successful elite sports level by strengthening grassroots sports. The government, from scouting, identifying, developing and nurturing our athletes in the grassroots and grooming them for the national team at the elite level, plays an active role.  In this role, the PSC is not alone. We thank all the people in authority who put their faith in our athletes and made it possible for us to give them extraordinary support.

We also have to thank our partners in the private sector. Thank you for being generous to our athletes and for adding where the government’s limitations can no longer go.  

A few months after the onset of the pandemic, with the drastic cut in our cash inflow due to the lockdown affecting PAGCOR and PCSO, we sadly had to cut allowances of our national team by half, promising to give back the remaining half once remittances improve. This is where true bayanihan spirit showed its magic, with partners from the Executive level, Senate, Congress and the private sector came in to help us sustain support for the national team, especially for the preparation of our Olympians and those still vying for an Olympic ticket.

Public-private partnerships work when they are united in a goal for the common good. Maraming Salamat po!

Part of the support system of our athletes are the coaches, trainors, and the sports science team behind them. They also deserve our appreciation. All the coaches who mentored our Olympians from their first involvement in sports all contributed to the whole package they have become. They sacrifice as their athletes do and provide a circle of comfort and moral ground like a second family.

When we talk of our athletes, we have to recognize the central role of their parents and families. Thank you for believing in their dreams and supporting them. Thank you for “lending” them to sports when you could have easily swayed their attention to another field. Thank you for being the wind beneath their wings.

Of course, at the center of this glorious moment are our athletes. You all deserve our gratitude, admiration and respect. We thank those who worked to qualify, those who fought with golden determination as much as those who in the end brought us pride and honor with their victories. We know the sacrifices and hardship you all had to endure in training and preparation.  We know the price you had to pay to be on that road towards your dream, our dream. We are sure that your achievements have caught the attention, fired up the imagination and inspired many of our youth to pursue sports. On behalf of a grateful nation, which has so proudly carried you on its shoulder to rejoice in your victory, maraming salamat!  

Gratitude needs to be given to the biggest contributor of support, the Filipino people. Your taxes funded our athletes along the course of their athletic journey. More than this, your trust, prayers and enthusiasm provided our athletes with more determination and motivation to come home winners and make us all proud. 

We have come to this sublime moment of triumph which emboldens us to dream of more, inspires us to go further and drives us to look positively ahead. We have successfully reached this point, and now armed with a blueprint, we can all do it again.
 
In an article written by one of our Tokyo Olympians, EJ Obiena, adapting an old African proverb, said that it takes a village to win an Olympic gold. We cannot agree more. No one can singularly take credit for this success because we all played a part in it. Our athletes represented the whole country solidly standing behind them and cheering them on. Salamat po sa inyong lahat.

Putting it in our context, we say it takes a nation to realize a dream.

Chairman William I. Ramirez
Commissioner Arnold G, Agustin
Commissioner Celia H. Kiram
Commissioner Ramon S. Fernandez
Commissioner Charles Raymond  A. Maxey
Executive Director Atty. Guillermo B. Iroy Jr.
Deputy Executive Director, FAS Merlita R. IBay
Deputy Executive Director, BCSSS Manuel G. Bitog
Chief of Staff Marc Edward D. Velasco


Sports Institute gets Sports Summit spotlight

 
The online National Sports Summit 2021 is now on its second to the last session as the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) presents a deeper view on the vital role of the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) in the upcoming Session 24 this Wednesday, August 4.
 
PSC-PSI Grassroots Program Head Abigail Marie Rivera will be the resource person for the two-hour program which is expected to be attended by over 500 participants from various local government units (LGUs), National Sports Associations (NSAs), sports educators, stakeholders, and other private entities nationwide.
 
The PSI was revived and officially relaunched in 2017 by PSC Chairman William Ramirez under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“This is a great opportunity for us to present the role of the PSI to our participants since most of them are our partners in grassroots development,” said PSI National Training Director and NSS Project Director Marc Edward Velasco.
 
The PSI is the sports agency’s arm to reach regional training centers. It is also the agency’s groundwork for its grassroots program to scout and discover new talent in the provinces that will soon become members of the Philippine team and become world-class elite athletes in the future.(PR)
 
 

San Miguel Corp.: Salamat, Boss Danding

SMC Statement

The Board of Directors and the entire San Miguel Group deeply mourn the passing of our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr.

For decades, ECJ guided the San Miguel Group, making a difference in the lives of so many of our employees, past and present. Values he lived by–malasakit, and sama-sama, the idea that we either make it together or not at all—are at the heart of what it means to be San Miguel.

His contributions to our company’s history are numerous and indelible. An agriculturalist at heart, he championed the development of rural Philippines and the setting up of our agro-industrial operations.

As SMC chairman, he guided our expansion, diversification, and transformation. His vision for San Miguel—to be a beacon of hope for the Philippines and a partner in nation-building—remains at the core of everything we do.

His impact on many other areas of Philippine life—sports, philanthropy—add to his rich and enduring legacy.

We offer our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.

Salamat, Boss Danding

PH women’s volley reaches podium in ASEAN Grand Prix 

PH women’s volley reaches podium in ASEAN Grand Prix
The Philippine women’s national volleyball team reached the medal podium in the just concluded second leg of ASEAN Grand Prix held at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym.
The Pinoy lady spikers secured the bronze medal after dropping their match to Indonesia (21-25, 17-25, 25-21, 21-25) in the tournament that served as a test event for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But it was the game against the powerhouse Thailand that broke the hearts of the team when they lost with the absence Alyssa Valdez, Maddie Madayag, Jia Morado and Jovelyn Gonzaga.
All four players had a prior commitment with their respective teams in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) that was held in Iloilo City, forcing the team to play with only 10 players.
Thailand captured the gold medal with a perfect 6-0 win-loss slate, which included victories in the first leg.
Valdez treats the setback as part of the training process for the nationals as they play in front of the home crowd with two months of preparation before the 30th Southeast Asian Games Philippines’ hosting on November 30 to December 11.
 “It’s saddening that we lost. But it’s one way of seeing what other things we need to improve on as a team and also as an individual. We are really looking forward sa mga positive things na mangyayari pa sa team namin for future training camps. So hopefully mag-improve pa kami as a team,” said the 26-year old Valdez.
Coach Shaq Delos Santos, on the other hand, believes that the team has to improve more in handling pressure and to make the home crowd an inspiration to win.
“We must focus on our service and receiving. We also need to handle the pressure pagdating sa mga ganitong labanan. Sobrang laki ng factor ng crowd, napakalaking advantage nila so we have to be inspired by them,” he said.
Right after some tournament commitments, the whole team will fly to Japan and focus on training for the upcoming biennial meet where they aim to finish at least a bronze medal.
The Philippines will bank on Kath Arado, Majoy Baron, Tots Carlos, Gel Cayuna, Celine Domingo, Jema Galanza, Eya Laure, Denden Lazaro, Dawn Macandili, Jerrili Malabanan, Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Ces Molina, Mylene Paat, MJ Phillips, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mika Reyes, Alohi Robins-Hardy, Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Gonzaga, Morado, Madayag, and Valdez.(pr)

PH underwater hockey team vies for four gold medals at SEAG

PH underwater hockey team vies for four gold medals at SEAG

UNDERWATER hockey is making its debut in the 30th Southeast Asian Games and the Philippine team strives to make a splash when the biennial meet arrives at our shores.

Dennis Valdes, president of the Philippine Underwater Hockey Federation, has noted his team’s hard work and dedication and hopes these can be translated into medals.

“I believe the Philippine UWH Team will do very well at the SEA Games. I am personally hoping to get four gold medals out of the four events. Of course, this cannot be guaranteed, but our athletes are training very hard for this goal,” said Valdes.

Also known as Octopush, underwater hockey is a sport in which two teams compete to drive a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal by propelling it with a hockey stick.

Four gold medals are at stake in the men’s 4×4 and 6×6, and women’s 4×4 and 6×6 competition categories set on December 2 and 3 at the New Clark City in Tarlac.

“At the beginning of our SEAG journey last December, I told the prospective athletes that I want one year of their lives. This has not been an exaggeration. All have sacrificed an enormous amount of time this year. They have had to ask their families for understanding, their bosses at work for support, and most importantly, their own selves for the drive and capacity to keep training for an entire year just to peak during the week of SEAG,” the UWH official revealed.

In order to ramp up the training of the underwater hockey players, the federation sent them to the Australian Underwater Hockey National Championships in Cairns, Australia, where PH top athlete Christian Policarpio played under the New South Wales Men’s Masters team.

“For the Men’s Team, we have high hopes for our forward Topz Policarpo. For the Women’s Team, it’s our forward, Nadj Buenafe. We hope that both will score a lot of goals for Team Philippines,” added Valdes.

The teams’ overseas exposures have been coupled with their continuous training, aided by coaches the Philippine Sports Commission has provided.

“It is our duty to ensure that our athletes, especially those training for the nearest competition in the calendar, which is the SEAG, get ample time to train both at home and overseas,” PSC Chairman William Ramirez said.

“The Philippine underwater hockey squad could be new, but its members have shown dedication to their sport and we will count on them to give our fellow Philippines big things to cheer on,” Ramirez added.

The men’s team is expected to mix it up in the gold medal running, while the women’s team is the team to beat after winning the Asian Championships twice.

“The preparation for the SEAG has been an incredible journey for the athletes, plus all the people around them, who are so supportive of their efforts. Looking back at the year, I can say that whatever happens during the SEA Games, all can be assured that Team PHI did everything possible to attain the golds. We all trained, we all got support, we all gave what we could. We hope that all that is good enough to attain four golds,” Valdes shared.

Furthermore, the UWH official expects Singapore to be their toughest opponent, although Indonesia and Malaysia are also known to give their best. (pr)

Just keeping the sports community posted.