MANILA -- Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio said the reason she always pays tribute to Nolito "Boy" Velasco is because she owes much of her Olympic success to her boxing coach.
Petecio said athletes generally get most of the attention whenever they win, but she said it is really the coaches who guided them to victory.
"Kapag kasi kami ang nananalo, minsan hindi na napapansin ang mga coaches. Behind sa success na nakukuha namin, may gumagabay po sa amin paano kami maging malakas at bakit nakuha namin ang achievement na ito," Petecio said in the PSC Hour on Friday.
Petecio made history by becoming the first female boxer from the Philippines to win a silver medal in the Olympics.
She went through four opponents in Tokyo before being edged by Japan's Sena Irie in the women's featherweight final.
After winning the silver, an emotional Petecio immediately went to Velasco to give the coach a tight hug.
"Nung nasa Laguna (bubble) pa lang kami, nabanggit ko sa mga coaches 'yan... Sabi ko po ide-dedicate ko ang laban sa kanila. Alam ko ang hirap nila na pinagdaanan po," she said.
Velasco, the elder sibling of Olympic medalists Mansueto and Roel, spent time away from his family just to support the Olympic campaign of the national women's boxing team.
"Tulad din ng mga boxers natin, hindi na rin kami nagbakasyon. Pagpasok sa bubble tuloyp-tuloy na pati sa training camp sa Thailand," he said.
Velasco also developed a bond with his boxers, which was a key to their success in Tokyo.
"Malaking bagay 'yung tiwala namin sa isa't isa," said Petecio.
"Kung wala kayong tiwala sa isa't isa, anong magiging purpose ng training at laro kung 'di ka magtitiwala sa mga coaches sa training program nila. Sobrang importante ang trust namin sa isa't isa."
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