‘Performance-based team’: POC’s Tolentino finalizes re-election slate

Manolo Pedralvez

Posted at Sep 26 2020 04:39 PM

Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino announced on Saturday the remaining members of his ticket when he runs for reelection on November 27.

In an online press conference, Tolentino named national triathlon chief Tom Carrasco as his chairman, gymnastics head Cynthia Carrion as treasurer, baseball honcho Chito Loyzaga as auditor, and Pearl Managuelod (muay thai), Dave Carter (judo), Jose Raul Canlas (surfing) and Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. (chess) as directors.

Tolentino, the Tagaytay congressman and Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines president, had tapped Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio and Richard Gomez, who heads the fencing and modern pentathlon associations, as his candidates for first vice president and second vice president, respectively.

“Hopefully, this (ticket) will be the new POC for the new normal and for good governance,” Tolentino said. "I have a lot of innovations in mind in the event we are reelected."

Tolentino will be challenged by World Archery Philippines president Atty. Clint Aranas, who earlier named incumbent POC chairman Steve Hontiveros, athletics chief Philip Ella Juico and rugby secretary general Ada Milby, who will run as an independent, on his slate.

Juico and Milby are running as first vice president and second vice president, respectively.

Tolentino is seeking a fresh 4-year mandate after being elected to the POC top post on July 28, 2018, besting Juico 24-20 following the resignation of boxing chief Ricky Vargas, who stepped down, citing personal and business reasons.

Tolentino mentioned the outstanding performance of the national team at the 30th Southeast Asian Games among his achievements.

Tolentino, a former POC chairman, had a personal hand in the selection of the sports events at the regional sports showcase the country was hosting for the fourth time, including the debut of modern pentathlon, obstacle course racing, skateboarding and esports (video games) as medal disciplines.

These sports were among those that delivered for the Philippines team, which romped off with 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals on the way to recapturing the overall championship in the 11-nation meet.

As president of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines, Carrasco has seen Filipino triathletes dominate the past 3 editions of the SEA Games, including a 1-2 sweep of the men’s and women’s divisions of the sport last December.

Since she took over as president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines a decade ago, Carrion has helped to develop the sport, highlighted by the success of Carlos Edriel Yulo at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany in October 2019 and at the SEA Games.

Yulo became the country’s second Olympic qualifier, thanks to his showing in Stuttgart, where he clinched the men’s floor exercise gold medal. He also bagged two gold and five silver medals in emerging as the most bemedalled PH athlete of the SEA Games.

“This is a performance-based team and we are fortunate and grateful for president Bambol in including us in his ticket,” said Loyzaga, who is the president of the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, in accepting his nomination. “We hope we can all work together for the welfare of our athletes.”

Tolentino said weightlifting chief Monico Puentevella had suggested to postpone the POC polls given the present COVID-19 pandemic, but that most of the POC members were lukewarm to the idea since it would require amending the POC constitution and by-laws.