The Palaro as a flawed feeder of talent | Inquirer Sports
Southpaw

The Palaro as a flawed feeder of talent

/ 02:12 AM December 23, 2016

Four months before the opening of the 60th Palarong Pambansa in the city of San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, the National Capital Region is again striking terror into the hearts of its opponents.

NCR athletes have been so fearsome and dominant they have captured the overall Palaro championship for the last 11 years or so.

Disparity with the other 17 competing regions is what makes the Metro Manilans tick.

Blessed with ample training facilities and unlimited money at their disposal, they could amass talent, at times by raiding other regions, to fight their sports battles ahead.

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That is why it’s been next to impossible to make a dent in NCR’s overall supremacy to the tune of 106.3 medals average since 2012.

Despite its flaws, the Palaro gets the backing of Philippine Sports Commission Chair William Ramirez.

Ramirez says the national games for primary and high school standouts could be a fertile feeder to the national pool of athletes in line with the PSC mantra of discovering talent aggressively from the grassroots.

Ramirez was not vocal about the Palaro’s failings, but former PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez offered a few.

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Gomez said there are, among others, the usual cheating by age and favoritism in the selection of athletes; piracy as practiced openly by Metro Manilans; cramming during training and graft in the Department of Education bidding process that drives up the price of equipment.

More on Jolly’s findings in another column.

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Of late, Ramirez has flexed his agency’s power of the purse.

He has no choice but to play the politics of pockets because of the urgency to halt our continuing demise in international sports.

Our corpses can be found in the Olympics, Asian Games, and even in the inferior Southeast Asian Games under overstaying Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.—installed recently to a lamentable fourth term by an old boys network of toadies.

Ramirez holds national sports associations with unliquidated funds in such a low regard that he has told them to do better in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur or else. He said shabby NSAs under the POC must perform or look for their own money next time.
We won the overall crown in the 2005 SEA Games but slipped to seventh in Burma (Myanmar) in 2013 and sixth in the 2015 Singapore Games.

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The PSC chair has also discouraged the hiring of high-salaried foreign coaches in favor of local mentors. “Why hire a foreign coach if local coaches are capable …” Ramirez said.

TAGS: 60th Palarong Pambansa

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