The MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) held a turnover ceremony to formally hand over a total of P18.5M to Olympic boxers of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
The amount included P5M each to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, P2M to Olympic Bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, P500k to Olympian Irish Magno through the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and P6M to the ABAP coaches.
At the ceremony held at the Meralco Lighthouse Restaurant were MVPSF Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, POC President Bambol Tolentino, MVPSF President Al Panlilio, MVPSF Trustee and ABAP President Ricky Vargas, ABAP Secretary-General Ed Picson, and MVPSF Executive Director Jude Turcuato.
Picson, who has been with ABAP since 2009, expressed his gratefulness to the MVP group for its support for Philippine boxing from the early years.
“Going back to that 12-year journey, the one thing that stood out is the fact that MVPSF, and PLDT and Smart before that, were with us when we were struggling to give our boxers international exposure, proper training, equipment, and the financial incentives to keep body and soul together,” the former broadcaster said.
“The journey is far from over. ABAP commits to persevere and continue to be an inspiration and a source of pride to our countrymen.”
“We really believe that one of the key principles for MVPSF is grassroots development, and I know you all came from there so we will commit even more,” said Panlilio.
“We want to find the next Eumir, the next Irish, the next Carlo, the next Nesthy.”
Vargas revealed that sports science played a big role in ABAP’s successes.
“We already knew we had good material to work with… but we also knew it was important to embrace Sports Science.
“So Ed and I got together and set out to hire sports scientists. We hired a Strength and Conditioning coach in our very first year and in the following year engaged a sports psychologist, nutritionist, and a performance analyst. They played a big part in our boxers’ successes,” explained Vargas.
Petecio spoke on behalf of the boxing Olympians, conveyed her gratitude to MVPSF for its long-time support of Philippine boxing.
“Nitong mga huling araw, napakaraming tao na amin pong pinasalamatan, pero kakaiba ang pasasalamat namin sa MVPSF,” said Petecio.
“Simula po sa paglakbay namin sa ABAP, hindi ninyo kami pinabayaan… mga panahon na nabigo kami, natalo, lumuha, nung walang pumapansin sa amin, nandyan na po ang MVPSF, 100-percent pong sumusuporta sa amin para maabot namin ang mga pangarap namin, hindi lang para sa amin, para na din po sa pamilya namin at sa bansa.”
“Isang patakaran sa aming grupo is walang iwanan. We’ll be here for you wherever you might go,” said Pangilinan.
“We have to prepare you for your next boxing events: SEA Games, Asian Games, and Paris (2024 Olympics). Sabi ni Ricky, apart sa push we have to put science in your boxing so you are better prepared for the next boxing events. Hindi lang sapatos at damit, but better scientific preparation for your next boxing events. That is our promise to you.”