POC chief hails Filipino medalists in Cambodia SEA Games

By Jean Malanum

May 23, 2023, 3:54 pm Updated on May 23, 2023, 3:58 pm

<p>Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino <em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino hailed the Filipino athletes for a job well done at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia.

Represented by 840 athletes, the Philippines collected 58 gold, 85 silver and 117 bronze medals to finish fifth behind Vietnam (136-105-118), Thailand (108-96-108), Indonesia (87-80-109) and Cambodia (81-74-127).

“It was really a strong performance,” said Tolentino during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The Philippines surpassed the medal haul of 52-70-104 in Vietnam last year, but it failed to keep its fourth-place finish.

Tolentino cited that 40 of the 87 silver medals won by Filipino athletes came from subjective sports where the results are in the hands of the judges.

“Those 40 medals, nahati sa (divided by) Vietnam and Cambodia. So, analyze it. Conservatively, (we lost) 20 golds,” he said during the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Philippine Sports Commission, POC, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The POC chief also mentioned the size of the Philippine delegation which he said was smaller compared to the top three countries in the medal tally board.

The Philippines, bannered by the late track queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado, swimmer Eric Buhain, and bowlers Paeng Nepomuceno and Crystal Soberano, captured 59 gold medals and finished third during the 1987 SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

"Sayang. I was really looking at 60 golds for our athletes," said Tolentino, now looking forward to the Asian Games scheduled from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China. (PNA)