by Waylon Galvez
Former PBA MVP winner Vergel Meneses and ex-La Salle player Francis Zamora were among the big winners from the ranks of sports personalities in the just concluded mid-term elections in the country.
Other personalities who are to be declared winners are Senators Sonny Angara and Pia Cayetano, PBA’s NorthPort owner and Rep. Mikee Romero (1-Pacman Partylist) and former SEA Games champion Richard Gomez.
Meneses, who captured the coveted MVP in 1995, finally won as Mayor of Bulacan, Bulacan after a failed bid the last time while Zamora ended a five decade-long stranglehold of the Estrada-Ejercito clan in San Juan City.
Cayetano, a former University of the Philippines volleyball player, and Angara, who is chair of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, are ranked Nos. 4 and 6, in the Senate race at presstime.
Romero’s 1-Pacman Partylist sits at No. 6 and is sure to serve for another three years along with Erik Pineda – Manny Pacquiao’s manager – while Gomez will remain as Ormoc City Mayor.
Other winners were former boxing chief Manny Lopez and Pacquiao’s chief trainer Buboy Fernandez who is leading in the vice mayoralty race in Polangui, Albay.
Lopez also earned fresh mandate as congressman in Manila’s District 1.
Former SBP chairman Oscar Moreno won the mayoralty post in Cagayan de Oro, while player-agent Matthew Manotoc, son of PBA champion coach Tommy Manotoc and Imee Marcos, won unopposed as governor of Ilocos Norte.
Not as lucky in their respective bids were NLEX and Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao, who lost in the congressional race (first district of Pampanga), former PBA coach Ariel Vanguardia as provincial board member in Laguna’s District 2, and Monsour del Rosario – the Chef De Mission in the SEA Games – for vice-mayor in Makati.
Former national taekwondo jin Ali Atienza lost in the congressional bid in Manila.
Winning in their respective city councils were 1992 PBA MVP Ato Agustin (San Fernando, Pampanga), SWU coach Yayoy Alcoseba and former PBA players Dondon Hontiveros (Cebu City, second district), Yoyong Martirez (Pasig, second district), Paul Artadi (San Juan, first district), Jam Alfad (Jolo, Sulu).