Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Still high on the SEA Games

Call it a hangover but I'm not over the fact that we got the SEA Games overall championship. Regardless of whether it's due largely to homecourt advantage, if our athletes didn't rose to the occasion, we would have bombed in our own turf. Now, some observations from this former sportswriter/sports fan/recreational athlete contemplating on pursuing competitive sports again: 

• DWBR sports radio's snow said it best: the latest SEA Games edition proved that life indeed goes on without basketball. Oh yeah, we can still continue to enjoy watching the PBA, PBL or the local pa-ligas but forget about seeing the Philippines lording it over the world, or even Asia. I said it before and I'll keep on saying it - we're not simply built for basketball.  And seeing how much money is pumped by sponsors into basketball while the lowly athletes of other sports get a pittance, I mean, c'mon. The lowest-paid PBA player gets around 50-60 grand a month while your average Rizal Memorial athlete gets something like 4-5 grand (I hope this figure is wrong).

• Let me congratulate the winners. and more importantly, congratulations, too, to all the pinoy athletes who didn't make it to the medal podium. I had a glimpse of the athlete's life and I have an empathy for the hardships and sacrifices they must endure to even make it to the competition proper.

• I hope the other sports which didn't fare well like badminton won't be ignored in the next staging of the games. While badminton is close to my heart and I personally know some of the national team players, I had to keep my expectations low.  After all, the badminton powerhouse countries are all in Asia. Our badminton athletes also don't get much international exposure to be competitive on this level. Granted that Kennevic and Kennie Asuncion are our top players, they have to spend their own money to compete internationally. I also hope that the badminton results wouldn't impact on the popularity of the sport.

• Lastly, thanks to the Lord for this early Christmas gift. also to the Pinoys who trooped to the venues to give their support. If most of the games were played in nearby venues, would've loved to attend more events. But rooting for our athletes and cheering them on especially when the national anthem gets played is an unforgettable experience. sure makes me ponder if I can still get involved in a sport where i can represent the country and hopefully bring honors. (heard that powerlifting may be included in the Bangkok games. hmmm, something to ponder on...)
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