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Twice hit by COVID in ’21, Ricky Vargas still thankful for boxing trio’s, TNT’s successes


2021 is a year to remember for Ricky Vargas.

The long-time sportsman tasted tremendous success in the sports he’s been overseeing, from the Filipino boxers’ historic medal haul in the Tokyo Olympics to the PBA’s staging of the Philippine Cup that saw his TNT emerge as king.

Yes, all that amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

2020-tokyo-olympics-carlo-paalam-x-eumir-marcial-x-nesthy-petecio Twice hit by COVID in '21, Ricky Vargas still thankful for boxing trio's, TNT's successes Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo by Eumir Marcial

“It’s been a good year for sports, not only for me but for the Philippines,” the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president and PBA chairman told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.

It wasn’t all smooth-sailing for the amiable executive, though. He admitted in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska, Daily Tribune, and PAGCOR that he actually got COVID-19 – twice.

2021-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-TNT-vs-Magnolia-Tropang-Giga Twice hit by COVID in '21, Ricky Vargas still thankful for boxing trio's, TNT's successes Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo by PBA Images

“In terms of health, it was not a good year for me. I had COVID twice,” he said in the webcast that also featured PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.

Vargas disclosed that the league chieftain also got stricken with the virus, thus his elation that they managed to win that battle together.

“The Commissioner, he also had that. Pero we went out there to see to it that we get our job done, and in the process we were battle-scarred. Kumbaga sa giyera, survivors kami ni Comm eh,” proudly shared the 69-year-old.

Vargas could not feel happier for what has been a successful year for him, despite the challenges brought about by the global health crisis. But he isn’t settling with what he and his teams have accomplished.

#ReadMore  Rox Montealegre shifts sports clothing plant to PPE production hub

Simply put, they have their signs set moving forward. Aside from priming the national boxers for the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games, he is also helping ensure that the Governors’ Cup will start later this November.

The former Philippine Olympic Committee chair said that the PBA imposes the biggest challenge. Still, no work feels too heavy, he said, when he has the right people around him, particularly Marcial and the Board of Governors.

“Of course, we’re moving forward na roon sa Olympics, we’re trying to get back to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games. Ang biggest challenge really was the PBA, to be able to have two conferences during the pandemic is excellent.

“Sabi ko nga parati, it’s good that we have a very strong board and a Commissioner that is able to work it out with the local government, the government, and with the IATF to be able to hold this,” he said.

Vargas vowed that the PBA is here to stay.

“We’ve managed to stay alive during this pandemic, and we want to continue to stay alive until we’re back to normal. Mabuhay ang PBA. We will not let it pass away.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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