POC capable of preventing mediocrity?
Three was indeed great, although the Philippines was not lucky enough to have booked a fourth outstanding achiever among the “best and brightest” in 2017 following the New Year’s Eve bloody setback suffered by a Filipino boxer in Tokyo.
Milan Melindo gave it all in a 12-round ordeal against a tall and stylish Japanese champion. He had the grit and ferocity but the 29-year-old star of the ALA Stable was hobbled down by poor defense and inferior ring craft.
Melindo didn’t have the punch (“walang diin”), street fans were one in saying the morning after the Jan. 2 replay of the Dec. 31 IBF-WBA light flyweight unification bout in Tokyo.
The defeat goes down as the last major news in the old year for Philippines sports.
Of course, there was a brighter break a few days earlier in the holiday season, when the courts ordered the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to hold a new election of officers on Feb. 23, thereby nullifying a previous poll wherein Jose Cojuangco Jr. made it to a fourth term as president following the disqualification of boxing chief Ricky Vargas.
So far, the POC has not manifested whether it would honor the court order or seek a temporary restraining order (TRO).
It was business as usual at the POC, which next made a startling announcement that it would prevent mediocrity in the national campaign for this year’s Asian Games in Indonesia.
Julian Camacho, national delegation chef de mission, has announced that only gold and silver medal winners from last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur could be assured of slots in the Jakarta and Palembang Games.
Camacho, taking a cue from the POC, announced that national sports associations would not be allowed to field tourists in the biennial regional meet slated Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
There was nothing clear on how the national contingent would be formed, or what standards would be followed as a whole.
The move to prevent mediocrity has remained a big puzzle, considering the worst-ever showing of the national contingent in the last SEA Games.
Going by the previous results, other sports authorities, led by sports development guru Dr. Perry Mequi, have started to wonder if the anti-mediocrity order wasn’t as absurd as outlawing storms and typhoons in the Philippines.
Quipped one national sports association head: “Isn’t Peping Cojuangco himself wholly qualified for a doctorate in [sporting] mediocrity, with his unproductive impotent reign at the POC?”