Best yet to come for PH as bemedaled boxing team returns
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s Olympic boxing medalists arrived in Manila on Monday to controlled fanfare—and to a new era of Philippine Sports.
Silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial flew in along with teammate Irish Magno and their coaches, part of a group that will be known as the best there ever was in the country’s Olympics history.
But Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said this isn’t yet the best there ever will be.
“We’ll try to get better, we already have a template and we know now what to do,” said Tolentino.
LOOK: Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Bong Go and PAF Chief Lieutenant General Allen Paredes welcome #Tokyo2020 silver medalist Nesthy Petecio, silver medalist Carlo Paalam, bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, and Olympian Irish Magno today at NAIA Terminal 2. pic.twitter.com/Le0IbgClqA
— Philippine Sports Commission (@psc_gov) August 9, 2021
The boxers expressed excitement about finally heading home after being away from their families for so long as they trained for the Olympics.
“I’m excited to be home,” Petecio, the runnerup in the women’s featherweight category to Japan’s Sena Irie, said in Filipino.
Paalam, who lost to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the men’s flyweight final, said he plans to immediately fly home to Cagayan de Oro City as soon as he can, along with father figure and trainer Elmer Pamisa.
“I want to help finish the house I’m building there,” said Paalam, who is hoping to finish a new abode far away from his old shanty near a landfill in Barangay Carmen, in Filipino.
The landfill is slowly being transformed into a park and Paalam said he won’t abandon his old home.
“I’ll fix it up because it is a reminder of where I came from,” said the 23-year-old fighter.
Marcial, meanwhile, will head off to Zamboanga as soon as he can.
Also with the boxers were coaches Boy Velasco, Reynaldo Galido, and Ronald Chavez.
They flew in via Philippine Airlines flight 427, and were feted with a toast mid-flight with champagne that the crew provided for the passengers.
WATCH: Passengers on PAL flight 427 toast boxing medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial with champagne provided by PAL crew.
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) August 9, 2021
PAL also awarded the three medalists free miles for life. Petecio and Paalam received 60,000 miles annually while Marcial was given 40,000.
The boxers, along with the rest of the delegation will undergo mandatory quarantine at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay before they will be allowed to go home.
Weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz, who clinched the country’s first Olympic gold medal in history, flew in last July 28.