The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), in a board meeting yesterday, approved the release of P7.5 million in incentives in recognition of the remarkable exploits of Filipino athletes in the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
PSC Chairman Ricardo Garcia approved the release of cash incentives.
“They can get their incentives anytime. Ready for pick up,” said Commissioner Salvador Andrada. “The incentive is only for the players. Hindi kasama ang coach,” said Andrada.
Twenty-nine athletes won gold medals with runner Archand Christian Bagsit and young female golfer Princess Mary Superal accounting for two medals each that netted them P200,000. Silver is worth P50,000 and bronze P10,000.
Bagsit, an NCAA standout from Letran, won the 400 meters and anchored his team to victory in the 4×400 meters relay with Julius Nierras, Edgardo Alejan, and Isidro del Prado Jr. and gave athletics a total of six gold medals.
The six medals are better than the two in Indonesia in 2011 by Rene Herrera and Marestella Torres. Herrera, however, failed in his quest for a sixth consecutive gold in steeplechase and was defeated by teammate Christopher Ulboc Jr.
American body-conditioning coach Ryan Flaherty played major role in the success of Filipinos. The San Diego-based coach was commissioned by Garcia to toughen athletes for the SEA Games.
Flaherty did well and did not disappoint Garcia as athletics emerged the most successful among the 26 National Sports Associations that competed in Myanmar.
Superal, the youngest in the delegation, topped ladies golf and powered the team to victory.
Basketball got R200,000 and distributed among 12 players.
Basketball is the only team sport that won the gold as women’s basketball, football, and canoe/kayak failed in their quest despite the support of the PSC.
Handled by coach Jong Uichico, the Filipinos swept the opposition to reaffirm their unquestioned supremacy and duplicated the golden feat of American mentor Norman Black, who did the feat two years ago in Indonesia. (Clyde Mariano)