Philippine basketball has enjoyed so much success in the past years thanks to sports patron Manny Pangilinan.
From boosting different collegiate teams to backing the country’s national team, Pangilinan’s name will surely be embedded in the annals of Philippine hoops forever due to his unwavering faith in the sport.
But aside basketball, Pangilinan has also promoted different sports such as boxing, weightlifting, and taekwondo to name a few.
None of those mentioned above, however, would come closer to his heart than the sport of badminton.
Badminton was one of the first sports in the Philippines to gain Pangilinan’s support. And his roots can be traced back to the 1970s when he was still in Hong Kong wherein he learned to play the game through a Chinese local.
Up to this day, SMASH Pilipinas’ Bianca Carlos vouches that the businessman can still keep up with the country’s elite during games.
“Si Boss MVP magaling, magaling si Boss MVP.
“Fighter yan kahit saan mo ilagay yung bola pipilitin niyang habulin, doon ako sobrang naa-amaze kay Big Boss natin. Badminton is the fastest racket sports pero talagang nakakasabay siya, doon ako amazed talaga kay Sir MVP. Alam ng lahat yan,” shared Carlos, who has shared the court for a few times with the Telecom giant, during Tiebreaker Vodcasts’ CPT Crossover presented by SMART.
Throughout the years, Pangilinan has been one of the few ardent supporters of the sport in the country.
He even brought the top badminton talents from Asia and Europe through his MVP Cup back in 2005, in hopes of elevating the standards and nurturing the badminton community here in the Philippines.
“Sa badminton ang dami niyang natulungan sa mga tournaments pa lang, MVP Sports tournaments niya, yung dinala niya yung MVP Cup dito, nagdadala siya ng mga international players, sobrang big help non sa badminton.
“Hindi lahat ng tao nakakapanood ng live ng mga foreign players natin pero dinadala niya dito at minsan libre pa namin napapanood, nakakalaro so sobrang big help non sa amin as badminton players,” said Carlos, an unbeaten singles player when she was with Ateneo.
And though the country hasn’t been able to reach its peak yet in the sport, Carlos believes that through MVP’s continuous support, the Philippines will be able to have its breakthrough moment in the badminton scene in the near future.