Freeman Cebu Sports


SPORT EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

It’s sad to hear former athletes including Olympians who get to the extent of selling their treasured medals and trophies so they won’t go hungry. Just recently, 1972 Munich Olympics gymnastics gold medalist Olga Korbut of the former Soviet Union, who has fallen on hard times, sold her medals through a U.S. auction house. Korbut 61, who now resides in Arizona after moving there in 1991, sold two golds and a silver from the Munich Games to the tune of $333,500. Korbut at age 17, ruled the Munich Games earning the gold in the balance beam and floor exercise while winning the silver in the uneven bars.  Very sad indeed.  Here in the Philippines, we also have our share of athletes gone broke.  If you recall, Olympian Anthony Villanueva, who many believed won the lightweight boxing gold in the  1964 Tokyo Olympics, also attempted  to sell his medal to augment his medical expenses.  Former world champion Rolando Navarette, who’s probably suffering from mental illness, lives in a shanty and depends on dole cuts from friends including Manny Pacquiao.  Another champion William Magahin of IloIlo City, who became a “watch your car” boy at Harrison Plaza in Manila, resorted to robbery when he held up a passenger van.  My protégé’, 1992 Barcelona Olympian Herman Suizo, who held the national marathon record for 10 years, drives a tricycle in his hometown Santa Barbara in Iloilo.

PSC cracks whip

While in Manila, I learned that PSC chair Butch Ramirez has given until March 16, National Sports Associations who have not liquidated financial assistance granted them by the government funding agencies and it has been two decades and a half.  Ramirez said he will cut financial support or even take them to court.  The amount involve is more than a P1 billion since 1990 with P10 million going to POC and P98,726,165.55 to the NSAs. Wow, grabe, imagine wrestling who has given the country zero medals came in second in unliquidated funds. When we hosted the SEA Games in 2005, there were still unliquidated expenses incurred by the POC.  Well, Butch, let’s clean em’ up.


Congratulations to San Miguel Beermen for winning the PBA Philippine Cup against a never-say-die (but now dead) Ginebra Gin Kings.  Cebuano June Mar Fajardo has remained the thorn for the  Gin Kings, he’s just unstoppable.  In golf, Manila Southwoods made it three in a row in the 70th Pal Interclub Men’s Championship held in Davao City.  Southwoods boasts of  skipper, CebuanoThirdy Escano.Southwoods blasted former champions, Canlubang, Luisita and Del Monte en route to its “three-peat”.

Did You Know?

BUSTER MATHIS -  beat Joe Frazier in the United States Olympic Trials to become America’s number one amateur heavyweight and earned a place in the  team for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.  However, Mathis suffered a broken knuckle in training and was forced to withdraw.  His replacement Frazier, won the gold medal.  When they turned professional fighters, Frazier had his revenge, knocking Mathis in the 11th round at  Madison Square Garden in 1968.  It was also in the Tokyo Olympics where our very own Anthony Villanueva suffered a controversial decision and settled for the silver medal.

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