Fil-Spanish booter, cage legend Big J banner Hall of Fame inductees
Football great Paulino Alcantara’s legacy only got the attention it truly deserves after Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best player in the world, broke Alcantara’s record number of goals with Spanish professional club FC Barcelona close to a century after the Filipino pulled off the feat.
That long-forgotten accomplishment of the Filipino-Spanish booter, plus his myriad achievements on the pitch, will be recognized when the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame (PSHOF) enshrines Alcantara on Sunday with nine other Filipino sports heroes.
“Alcantara deserves to be in the [Philippine Sports] Hall of Fame, he’s the pride of the country in football,’’ said Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and PSHOF chair William “Butch’’ Ramirez.
Aside from scoring 395 goals in 399 matches for FC Barcelona that Messi broke in 2014, Alcantara helped the Philippines capture a silver medal in the 1917 Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo with a 15-2 victory over Japan, the country’s biggest win in international football to date.
Born in Concepcion, Iloilo province, in 1896, Alcantara remains the youngest player to see action for FC Barcelona at the age of 15. He played six games for Spain and scored six goals from 1921 to 1923 and retired as a player in 1927.
Alcantara, a doctor by profession, served as a club director for Barcelona between 1931 and 1934 and became a coach and manager for Spain for three games.
Swimmer Eric Buhain, track and field celebrity Elma Muros-Posadas, basketball’s living legend Robert Jaworski and 1988 Olympic gold medalist Arianne Cerdeña of bowling will likewise be inducted during the digital ceremony to be aired by PTV4 starting 7 p.m.
The fourth batch of enshrinees will also have Dionisio Calvo (basketball and football coach), Gertrudes Lozada (swimming), Rogelio Onofre (athletics) and Olympic bronze medalist boxers Leopoldo Serantes and Roel Velasco.
The 10 enshrinees will receive P200,000 each plus a well-crafted PSHOF trophy during the digital awarding ceremony produced and organized by the PSC and Trizach Events and Management.
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