MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) rewarded the Phl women’s basketball team with P300,000 for their breakthrough triumph in the seventh SEABA Women’s Championship that the country hosted last month.
Winning the SEABA tilt is not covered by the windfall package under Republic Act 9064 or the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act but PSC chairman Ricardo Garcia said the board felt the cagebelles deserved a bonus for their feat.
“We gave the team P300,000 because they won it for the first time and we are proud of them,” said Garcia, who announced the incentive when the Phl cagebelles made a courtesy call last Friday. “This is not RA 9064; this came from the board and the team deserves it.”
The cagebelles crowned themselves champions after nearly 40 years of participating in international tourneys, sweeping the four-game eliminations and outclassing 2007 SEABA winner Thailand in the finale. Their previous best finish was second place in both the SEA Games and the SEABA.
Originally, the SEABA was tapped as the cagebelles’ qualifying for the ongoing 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China and their victory could have served as their ticket to the Asiad.
But with the SEABA scheduled weeks later than the draw for the Guangzhou caging, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) was forced to withdraw the cagebelles altogether to avoid possible sanction should they enter the draw and in the end pull out if they failed to win the SEABA.