THE PhilCycling has appealed to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to spare the athletes from the leadership row in the cycling community and asked the government agency to continue giving the monthly allowances of members of the national pool
Labeling as unjust a PSC resolution (No. 0252011 dated January 21) that ordered for the suspension of the monthly allowances of national cyclists “until such time as the leadership dispute in cycling is settled,” PhilCycling president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said such is anti-athlete and anti-developmental.
“As far as I know, the PSC was created for the athletes and for sports development. At para tanggalan nila ng suporta ang ating mga siklista ay sa tingin ko, nawawala sa linya ang PSC,” said Tolentino.
“We’re here to make an appeal to the PSC to reconsider its decision to suspend the granting of allowances to our national riders. Nakikiusap kami sa kanila na huwag naman sana nilang idamay ang mga atleta at coaches sa leadership dispute ng cycling,” added Tolentino in Tuesday’s edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Shakey’s United Nations Avenue.
The national cyclists received their last monthly allowances from the PSC last Monday. Many-time gold medalist Marites Bitbit was the most affected because she is among the elite athlete under the PSC’s care receiving P12,000 monthly. The other pool members are getting P6,000 each while the coaches P15,000.
Tolentino, also the mayor of Tagaytay City, was accompanied in the public sports program presented by Outlast Battery, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Shakey’s by members of the PhilCycling board and several national team members including two-time Tour champion and Southeast Asian Games multiple gold medalist Victor Espiritu, Lloyd Lucien female Reynante, Irish Valenzuela, Reinhardt Gorantes, Tomas Martinez, former Tour of Luzon winner Sean Guevarra, lady rider Analiza Dysangco, Olympian and coach Olympian Norberto Oconer, coach Cesar Lobramonte and 7-Eleven’s Gary Advincula, among others.
Tolentino and his PhilCycling is recognized by the International Cycling Union or UCI but not by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
The other group, which also calls itself PhilCycling, had had four elections in the last two years and has former PSC chairman Dr. Philip Ella Juico as its current president. Juico is also unable to secure the recognition of the POC and was told by UCI president Pat McQuaid that Tolentino is the country’s legitimate federation leader.
The withdrawal of financial support affected the coountry’s campaign in the 2011 Asian Championships in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand starting February 9. From an initially intended full team in the road and track Asians, Tolentino said they will be sending one junior and two men’s elite athlete and one coach instead.
7-Eleven, Tolentino said, would be shouldering part of the expenses for the Asians.
“Hindi namin ginigiit na kami ang i-recognize ng PSC. Regardless kung sino ang kinikilala nilang leadership, basta huwag sana nilang idamay ang mga siklista,” added the PhilCycling chief. “Nagkataon lang kasi na most of the national team members belong to our group.”
The cyclists will personally appeal their case to PSC chairman Richie Garcia.
Tolentino also suggested for the PSC to conduct a trials for the cyclists regardless of their affiliation in order to form a national pool, particularly for this November’s Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.
“Magpatakbo sila (PSC) ng karera sa dalawang group. PSC na ang mag-organize nito. Ngayon kung sino ang manalo, ‘yun ang ilagay nila sa training pool at suportahan,” Tolentino said.
-by director Jun lomibao