‘Best ever’ PHL finish draws rewards

Fireworks explode during the closing ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, August 8, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

TOKYO—And because the Tokyo Olympics that ended on Sunday became the best ever for the Philippines in its 97 years of participation, the silver and bronze medalists deserve additional bonuses.

“That made me sweat. Whew!” boxing bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial told Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in Sunday’s final virtual press conference for Team Philippines from the Japanese capital.

Silver medalist Carlo Paalam grinned from ear to ear, his dimples going millimeters deeper, as Marcial kept kissing him on the cheek.

The reason? As he did for gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Tolentino —Cavite’s Eighth District congressman—committed a house-and-lot each for Paalam and Marcial, as well as for Nesthy Petecio, also a silver medalist in women’s featherweight.

“Hidilyn, as promised, gets her house-and-lot in Tagaytay City,” Tolentino said. “The two silvers and bronze, I’ll also reward the same in Tagaytay, so their families can have a place to stay when they’re there.”

With the windfall of incentives and bonuses going the medalists’ way, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is going the extra round for the newly-minted millionaire boxers.

“We in the ABAP will be offering them [medalists] financial advisers, so they can take care of their incentives and make sound investments for their future,” ABAP Secretary General Ed Picson told BusinessMirror. “Our President (Ricky Vargas) wanted to help the boxers chart their future with their bonuses.”

Picson said the ABAP is discussing details about the offer with Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc and Marvin Espiritu, two of the more reputable player-agent-managers in the Philippine Basketball Association.

“But it’s an offer, the boxers can either take it or decide on their own,” Picson said.


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