Tokyo Olympics silver medal winner Nesthy Petecio finally got her P5 million incentives from the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) in a simple turnover ceremony held Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Meralco Lighthouse Restaurant in Pasig City.
Petecio, who lost in the final of the women’s featherweight category in the last Olympics, received the “bonus” from MVPSF chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, whose group began supporting Filipino athletes in 2009.
A total of P18.5 million were handed over by the MVPSF to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
Aside from Petecio, Carlo Paalam also received P5 million for earning a silver medal in the men’s flyweight division, while middleweight Eumir Marcial got P2 million for finishing with a bronze medal.
Paalam, Marcial, and Irish Magno, who was also given an additional P500,000 despite not winning a medal, were not able to attend the ceremony.
The MVPSF also gave incentives to ABAP coaches led by Pat Gaspi and Australian consultant Donald Abnett, P6 million for their efforts in helping the boxer train and prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
ABAP Secretary-General Ed Picson, who has been with ABAP since 2009, expressed his gratitude to the MVPSF for its support for Philippine boxing.
“Going back to that 12-year journey, the one thing that stood out is the fact that MVPSF, and PLDT and Smart before that, were with us when support was most needed,” said Picson.
“When we were struggling to give our boxers international exposure, proper training, equipment, and the financial incentives to keep body and soul together. The journey is far from over. ABAP commits to persevere and continue to be an inspiration and a source of pride to our countrymen.”
Also at the ceremony MVPSF president Al Panlilio, MVPSF trustee and ABAP chief Ricky Vargas, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino and MVPSF Executive Director Jude Turcuato.
Panlilio said that the MVPSF would continue to support ABAP especially its grassroots program in order to find the needed talent for Philippine boxing.
“We really believe that one of the key principles for MVPSF is grassroots development, and I know you all came from there so we will commit even more. We want to find the next Eumir, the next Irish, the next Carlo, the next Nesthy,” said Panlilio.
Vargas, on the other hand, revealed that sports science played a big role in ABAP’s successes.
“We already knew we had good material to work with… but we also knew it was important to embrace Sports Science. So Ed and I got together and set out to hire sports scientists,” he said.
“We hired a Strength and Conditioning coach in our very first year and in the following year engaged a sports psychologist, nutritionist, and a performance analyst. They played a big part in our boxers’ successes.”