So far, so good

May 8, 2023 People's Tonight 353 views

PHNOM PENH – So far, so good.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Dickie Bachmann and his commissioners Olivia “Bong” Coo and Fritz Gaston are satisfied of the Filipino athletes’ performance in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games here and are hoping that their early success is sustainable until the finish.

“So far, I’m very happy. It’s a good start, hopefully we can retain it,” said Bachmann in a brief huddle with Filipino sportswriters covering the games.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Team Philippines is in the thick of the fight against the region’s powerhouses Thailand and Indonesia with 13 gold medals to show.

More golds are expected once the big guns, such as Olympians Ernest John Obiena of pole vault, Carlos Yulo of gymnastics and boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio begin contributing to the Philippine cause.

“I think Sir Bambol [Tolentino, Philippine OIympic Committee president] said top three or four (in the final medal standings), so it looks like we’re getting there. The (expected) golds from EJ [Obiena], [Caloy] Yulo are not yet there, so I’m just hoping that our gold and silver will continue,” said Bachmann, who with his commissioners and the POC chief, have become Team Philippines’ biggest cheerleaders here.

Of course, Bachmann and Gaston, who were former basketball pros, and Coo, a multi-titled bowling legend, know the feeling from the other side of the fence, having been former athletes themselves. Plus, this is the first time that they will have to deal with sports outside of their comfort zones.

“I’m now seeing a full round of all sports, so I’m very excited trying to go to our games,” said Bachmann. “Our athletes are all in high spirits and high energy, they are all willing to get those golds,” he said.

Coo, who handles Women Sports in the PSC, is particularly elated of the showing of the Filipina athletes, from the delegation’s first gold medalist Kaila Napolis of jiu-jitsu to its latest, triathlete Kim Mangrobang.

“I’m so happy because many woman athletes are winning medals. All of them are in high spirits, they are really fighting for the country. We will continue to support, I will continue to support,” Coo said.