Team PHL winds up ‘fighting’ 4th place

TEAM Philippines returned home on Monday morning proud of the 52 gold medals won from the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games that ended on Monday night with a friendly and cozy closing ceremony at the My Dinh Stadium at the heart of Hanoi.

Surely, it was the Vietnamese who shouted their voices hoarse as the curtain fell on the 31st edition of the games that was postponed from December last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But proud and mighty with a haul of 52 gold, 70 silver and 104 bronze medals were the 541-strong Filipino athletes who fought tooth and nail coming off restrictions in training wrought by health protocols only to defend the fort on a foreign land where the hosts guaranteed that if they win, they’ll win convincingly.

“We congratulate our athletes. They showed resiliency when the going got rough,” Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said as the last big batch of Filipino athletes waited for their flight to Manila at the Noi Bai International Airport at the Vietnamese capital at midnight Sunday.

“Despite the adversity they faced in preparing for the games, they rose to the challenge,” Tolentino stressed.

The Philippines wound up fourth in the medals race and lost the overall championship to the Vietnamese who hauled an exaggerating  205 gold, 125 silver and 116 bronze medals—a haul too much to handle even for second placer Thailand which was miles behind with a 92-103-136 gold-silver-bronze tally.

Ahead of the Philippines at third was Indonesia with 69-91-81 and down at fifth was Singapore with 47-46-73. Myanmar and Cambodia each had nine golds, Laos had two, Brunei Darussalam one and Timor Leste with three silvers and two bronzes.

The 52 gold medals was much better than the measly 23 gold, 33 silver and 64 bronze medals that Filipino athletes won in the 2017 Malaysia Games, the last time the country competed overseas for a woeful sixth place finish.

“We could have done better but we’ll take it. We had high hopes going to Hanoi but we encountered a buzz-saw that was the Vietnamese juggernaut,” Tolentino said. “We won a lot of silver medals, the ones that got away.”

Although he won’t explicitly admit it, Tolentino rued the fate met by lots of Filipino athletes in subjective sports where human judges determined the winners.

Muay athlete Philip Delarmino accounted for the country’s fifth and last gold as action ended last Sunday when the Vietnamese hit the streets to celebrate their gold medal-clinching 1-0 victory over Thailand in their favorite sport, football.

“We finished fourth place among 11 brother-countries in the region. This is our best finish since 1983 (Singapore Games when we placed second to Indonesia) in a SEA Games event outside the Philippines,” PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, also the chef de mission of the national team, said.

“As Chef de Mission, I am truly very proud of this feat! Just as I thank my Philippine Sports Commission family headed by Chairman William Ramirez for their all-out support,” he added.

Tolentino said the first order of the day is to prepare for the next edition of the Games in Cambodia set also in May next year, where he intends to field athletes in all disciplines.

“We’ll go all in in Cambodia,” he said. “We have to start preparing right away.”

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial and fellow boxers Rogen Ladon and Ian Clark Bautista delivered three of the final-day gold medals for the Filipinos, with the fourth gold coming from the Gilas Pilipinas women’s squad that lost its final-day match to Malaysia 93-96 but nevertheless took the title for the country’s 51st gold.

But Gilas Pilipinas’s failure to retain the gold medal in men’s basketball was the wild talk of the town after the team lost to a well-repared Indonesian side coached by Serbian Rajko Toroman and powered by a certified former National Basketball Association, 81-85.

That defeat was the first by any men’s basketball squad in the SEA Games since an all-amateur squad lost the gold to Malaysia in the 1989 Kuala Lumpur Games.


IT could have been 51 gold medals for Team Philippines, but the Muaythai Association of the Philippines (MAP) fought for one more on the last day of competitions on Sunday.

Phillip Deploma Delarmino almost lost the gold in the men’s 57 kg featherweight to hometown bet Nguyen Doan Long, a son of the sports minister of Vietnam, after the judges controversially favored Delarmino’s opponent with a 2-1 final score despite being mauled and bloodied in the fight.

MAP Secretary General Pearl Managuelod, daughter of MAP President General (Retired) Lucas Managuelod, protested the result and after a review of the video and deliberation that reached three hours, the judges reversed their decision in favor of Delarmino.

“Not on our watch Vietnam,” the general’s daughter posted on her facebook account.

MAP head coach Billy Alumno told BusinessMirror on Monday that Malaysian technical director Datu Sha disagreed with the judges’ verdict that favored the Vietnamese.

“We’re shocked by the original decision that we lost it, but our Secretary-General, Madam Pearl [Managuelod], didn’t allow it and immediately filed a protest because we knew that we won that fight dominantly,” Alumno said. “We’re very happy that we fought for our rights and we got the decision before returning home.” With Josef Ramos


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

31st SEAG ends in friendly, cozy closing ceremony

Next Article

Senate OKs bill mandating lifetime validity of birth, death certificates

Related Posts

Read more

Time not on Gilas side

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced over the weekend a 28-member pool for the national men’s team to the Cambodia 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

Read more

Cebu presses leader Kaya

DYNAMIC Herb Cebu bucked a lackluster performance to beat Mendiola FC 1991, 1-0, Saturday in the Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Centre in Carmona Cavite.