POC chief Tolentino urges Filipinos to rally behind athletes
Hanoi – The president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, called on the whole nation on Monday to join the Philippine team which, despite failures in the events that the Filipino athletes were supposed to dominate, has beaten to third place halfway through the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
“We hope and pray to keep our momentum going even though we lost in some sports like tennis, golf and 3X3 basketball, among others, where we had a good chance of winning gold,” Tolentino said. , also responsible for PhilCycling.
“We have to recover [lost golds] and win more gold medals in other sports,” added Tolentino, whose energy continued to soar as he did his best to circle around venues far apart from each other to rally to Filipino athletes. “We still have boxing, gymnastics, karate, track and field, basketball, weightlifting, taekwondo, wrestling and other combat sports where we could win medals. “
The Philippines battled third in the medal race on Sunday with 20 gold, 27 silver and 38 bronze. Host Vietnam were in a rush to become overall champion with 67 gold, 46 silver and 44 bronze, followed by Thailand with 27 gold, 24 silver and 38 bronze.
Indonesia continued to threaten the Philippines with 20 gold medals in fourth place. Tokyo Olympian and two-time world champion Carlos Yulo led the gold medal rush for the country with three gold medals on Monday. Kim Mangrobang also scored a double with his triathlon and duathlon victories which came within 24 hours of each other.
Tolentino told Filipino athletes who have yet to compete never to give up hope, saying “the whole nation is with them in this fight.”
“Never give up and keep fighting for our country,” he said.