Keon to PSC chair Bachmann: There’s so much talent to tap


OF the several memorable sidebars in Monday night’s San Miguel Corp.-Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards, a former sports leader’s unsolicited advice to the current Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) administration stands out.

“There is so much talent in this country that falls through the cracks in the system and it is really sayang,” said Michael Keon as he paid homage to the late Asian athletics queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado who was posthumously installed to the PSA Hall of Fame.

Keon of course was the man behind the Project: Gintong Alay, a program established during the Marcos era that produced many if not all of the best and brightest in Philippine sports—De Vega-Mercado, Elma Muros-Posadas who was hailed by the PSA with a Lifetime Achievement Award, incumbent PSC commissioner, bowling great Olivia “Bong” Coo, among others.

Now the mayor of Laoag City, Keon told athletes, officials and PSA members at the Diamond Hotel grand ballroom about a conversation he had with PSC chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann last week on how the sports agency could accomplish its goal.

“We talked about what is important to Philippine sports now. I advised him [Bachmann] that the PSC should concentrate together with the national sports associations because there is so much talent in this country,” Keon said.

“I believe Chairman Bachmann is receptive to our advice and will initiate this with the help of the NSAs,” he said.

Gintong Alay has always become a template for a sports program in the country, in as much the same way as the Northern Consolidated basketball program which was a brainchild of the late sportsman and businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

Image credits: Rudy Esperas

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