By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez thanked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the contribution of the military-athletes in the country’s recent campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Among those military-athletes who delivered the gold medals in their respective sports were Olympic champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz of the Air Force, hurdler Clinton Bautista and boxer Ian Clark Bautista of Navy, and fighter Eumir Marcial of Air Force.
Also delivering mints were muay’s Phillip Delarmino and basketball player Marizze Andrea Cabinbin of Navy, and fellow dribblers Janine Pontejos and France Mae Cabinbon of Army.
“We thanked the Armed Forces of the Philippines for these athletes. The contributions of the AFP proved vital to our success in the SEA Games,’’ said Ramirez.
In all, Team PH collected 52 gold, 70 silver and 104 bronze medals to finish fourth overall in the medal tally, the best finish of the nation in the Games outside of the Philippines since winding up second overall in the 1983 Singapore edition.
“The AFP has been very supportive, not only in our SEA Games campaign, but every time we carry our flag in international competitions,’’ said Ramirez.
He also thanked the rest of the 117 enlisted athletes and coaches from the three branches of military services.
Military-athletes also grabbed 11 silver and 16 bronze medals from Hanoi with rowers Cris Nievarez (Army) and Joanie Delgaco (Navy) winning at least two medals each along with Woman Grandmaster Janelle Frayna (Air Force) in chess.
Other silver medalists from the AFP are decathlete Aries Toledo, boxer Irish Magno, Grandmaster Darwin Laylo, table tennis player Russel Misal, tennis player Jeson Patrombon and wrestlers Alvin Lobreguito, Ronil Tubog and Jhonny Morte.
Military athletes who claimed bronzes were Sonny Wagdos and Jelly Dianne Paralige of athletics, boxer Riza Pasuit, rowers Roque Abala Jr. and Nicanor Jasmin, sepak takraw’s Jason Huerte and Rheyjey Ortouste, beach volleyball’s Ranran Abdilla and Jovelyn Gonzaga, and wrestlers Jason Balabal and Noel Norada.