Friday, July 19, 2013

Fair Play: What if the POC and PSC are right?

IN defense of their plan not to send a football team to the Southeast Asian Games, Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Peping Cojuangco said," Eh, kung biglan na-murder? I wonder who's going to be inspired. Kung pupunta tayo para lang mag practice, eh malaking kalokohan yan."

He's right of course. A loss in the international scene would be a big heartbreak for Philippine sports.  It would be a big setback that would kill the sport. 

That's why we should all send winners.

Just like what happened to basketball in the Philippines.  After that disappointing finish by the Centennial Team in the 1998 Asian Games, and the succeeding failure of the pro-laden team in the 2002 Busan Asian Games, where the country was a heartbeat away from a medal, all basketball players in the country were so disappointed that they all stopped playing hoops and started concentrating in school.  All UAAP, NCAA, Cesafi and other collegiate players were also very disappointed and heartbroken that they stopped all their hoops dreams--mindful of avoiding another heartbreak--and started dreaming of becoming a writer.

Ditto with Eduardo Buenavista, for years the face of running in the Philippines.  Buenavista, the marathon record holder in the Philippines had a disappointing finish in the Athens Marathon--67th--and the running community was so heartbroken that sales of running-related gear fell to zero as all those who loved to run stopped running.  Instead of taking to the streets or the trails, these weekend warriors took to the kitchen and started following their favorite athletes in Iron Chef America.

Peping Cojuangco is right.  These losses in the international scene--so heartbreaking--led to the demise of their sports. Because in this country, there’s no such thing as love of the game. We take to running, or shoot hoops BECAUSE of the national team. Nothing else.

It's true with Philippine football too. After that 13-1 defeat to Indonesia in the Tiger Cup in 2002, all football-related activities in the Philippines stopped. Everybody was so heart-broken that not a single tournament was held for years, up until that 2010 breakthrough.

And then, of course there's Manny Pacquiao.  He beat Marco Antonio Barrera, leading to a surge of interest in boxing in the country, but his loss to Erik Morales two fights later was another heartbreak.  It killed boxing, too. It was such a disappointment that I've heard some boxers hang up their gloves and instead of dreaming of success in the ring, they all wanted to be politicians. Pacquiao's loss also led to the early eliminations of Harry Tanamor and Mark Barriga, the much-touted gold-medal hopes, in the Beijing and London Olympics.  Because Pacquiao lost, the two lost interesting in playing for the flag.

That is why we must follow Peping Cojuangco's logic.  We cannot send those who have no chance of winning the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games, just as we shouldn't send the likes of Buenavista or other runners and swimmers in the Olympics because they don't have a chance of winning any medal, even if the Olympics start giving medals to those who make the top 45.

You just can't do that. It will kill the sport. And Peping is just looking out for the welfare of Philippine sports.

PSC chairman Ritchie Garcia is right too.  We just can’t send teams who have the capacity to pay because as he said, “We cannot allow that kasi it’s not fair to the poorer teams who don’t have sponsors.”

It’s not fair to the other NSAs who should have gotten PSC support—as mandated by law-- to join tournaments like the SEA Games because they don’t have the money to join.

It’s all about being fair and rewarding NSAs who work hard for their sport.  It’s not fair to sports like karatedo, wrestling, badminton, soft tennis, equestrian and table tennis.  Sports that don’t have sponsors because they don’t have a pro league.  Do you know which sport will easily get sponsors because of its appeal to the masses? Cock-fighting! We should send them abroad!

Yes, the POC and PSC are right. The guardians of the sport in the country have to be right.  They have to be right, they must be right because if  not, it means  our country’s sports institutions are ran by imbe…..I mean men who should have retired two presidents ago.

1 comment:

Artchil Fernandez said...

POC and PSC are wrong. Sports is not about winning. Following Peping Cojuangco's moronic thinking, the Philippines should stay out of the Olympics since the country had not won gold. Since the modern Olympics started, Philippine participation always ended in heart break. Why do we still send delegation? Because the gold is secondary. Sports is about respect, playing fairly, installation of good values - magnanimity in victory, grace in defeat. Sports is also fostering goodwill and friendship with other people, nations, groups. Learning from experiences is what sports is all about. How the U-23 learn if the POC and PSC deprive them of the experience? They'll never grow and mature without the experience. So what if they lose. That's life.

Dirty politicians must be removed from sports leadership in the country. They have a narrow, twisted and stupid concept of sports. Only those who really understand the true meaning of sports should assume sports leadership in the country. Time for reform. Politicians, get out of Philippine sports.