PHL bets told: It’s achievable

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
PHL bets told: It�s achievable
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richard Bachmann and Senator Bong Go lead the send-off ceremony of athletes for the upcoming 19th Asian Games and 4th Asian Para Games at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on September 18, 2023
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — There are a million more reasons Filipino athletes should strive harder to win the gold in the Hangzhou Asian Games that unfurls on Saturday.

With an eye on surpassing the four-gold, two-silver and 15-bronze harvest in the 2018 edition in Palembang, Indonesia, the Philippine Olympic Committee added a P1 million cash bonus for the Philippine bets who will strike gold in China.

“It will be a big challenge but I believe it’s achievable,” said POC president Abraham Tolentino during yesterday’s send-off of the 395-strong national team as well as the Asian Para Games-bound squad at the PICC in Pasay City.

The bonus sweetens the pot for Filipino athletes, who under the law stand to receive a P2 million for each gold, P1 million for silver and P400,000 for bronze in the Asiad.

Sen. Bong Go, who chairs the upper chamber’s committee on sports, wished the Filipino athletes the best of luck.

“This is a testament to your dedication and commitment towards greatness,” said Go.

Tolentino named world No. 2 pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and 2018 Asian Games skateboard gold winner Margielyn Didal as the country’s flag-bearers in Hangzhou.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard Bachmann and Philippine Paralympic Olympic Committee president Mike Barredo also graced the send-off.

The Asian Games is slated Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 while the Asian Para Games is scheduled Oct. 22 to 28.

Although the country will vie without world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, who has skipped Hangzhou for the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium late this month, there are those to count on.

Apart from Obiena and Didal, the squad will also have Olympic gold winner Hidilyn Diaz, Tokyo boxing medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, the star-studded Gilas Pilipinas and the World Cup heroes in the Filipinas.

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