MANILA, Philippines – Many Filipino athletes became more assertive about their training needs and this resulted in their successes in 2014, sports analysts say.
Sports columnists Bill Velasco and Rick Olivares said athletes like Manny Pacquiao, Michael Martinez, Danny Caluag and Kobe Paras would not have flourished in 2014 had they chose to limit themselves.
“Basically ang pinakita ng Philippine athletes natin nung 2014 is there are no more excuses,” said Velasco during their guesting on DZMM's Fast Break. “In other words, kailangang gawin yung kailangang gawin.”
“Kung kailangang sa ibang bansa siya magsanay, sa ibang bansa siya lumaban kailangan ipadala natin doon. Kung kailangan itong equipment ang gagamitin nya, kailangan ibigay natin yun. Kumbaga sina Michael Martinez, Manny Pacquiao, Kobe Paras, pinakita nila, no more excuses. Ito ang kelangan eh.”
This is particularly true for Martinez, who gained worldwide recognition for being the first Southeast Asian to gain qualification in the 2014 Winter Olympic in Sochi, Russia. He did this despite scraping for funds for his training expenses abroad.
Velasco said that this sense of determination showed that everything is possible for the Filipino athlete.
“’Wag na tayong magpalusot na 'E kasi wala tayong pera,’” said the analyst. “Eh 'di wag na nating gawin.”
Olivares, for his part, said that money is still important for athletes because they will still need funding for their expenses abroad.
“Kasi kailangan natin iyun for funding ng training. May mga buhay ito, kailangan pakainin mo, kailangan yung mga basic necessity,” he said.
The good thing about this, he said, is that local athletes knew that they should not be confined within the training facilities in the Philippines.
“’Yung experience na nakikipaglaban, nakakikipag-compete sa ibang bansa, priceless iyun eh. Dun palang kailangan pondohan yun. There is an expense to that,” said Olivares.
One particular example is the Philippine Azkals, whose steady rise in worldwide rankings would not have been possible if they did not compete against higher-ranked teams abroad.