Phl para team comes home

SURAKARTA, Indonesia — The triumphant Philippine para team that competed in the just-concluded 11th ASEAN Para Games can expect a grand heroes’ welcome from top Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) officials at the airport Sunday.

With the exception of the wheelchair basketball squads, majority of the PH contingent that took part in the regional sportsfest will be touching down at the Centennial Airport (Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2) aboard a Philippine Airlines chartered flight a little past noon.

The para-athletes will be given the red-carpet treatment by officials led by PPC president Mike Barredo and PSC Commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, who offered their congratulations for their efforts in overcoming all odds in producing the country’s all-time high in the ASEAN Para Games.

Competing in 14 disciplines, the PH standard-bearers will be coming home with 28 gold, 28 silver and 47 bronzes (based on unofficial count of the PPC), exceeding the previous best of 24-24-26 in the 2009 edition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as the 20-20-29 standing five years ago also in the Malaysian capital.

With most of the PH bets vying in their first international competition for the first time in five years, the country maintained their No. 5 ranking in the unofficial medal standings as of noon here Saturday at the close of the regional showcase for para-athletes in the Central Java provincial capital

Based on the APG website, host Indonesia was expectedly on top of the medal standings with a grand tally 177-141-110, Thailand was running second (117-116-87), Vietnam was in third (64-60-56) and Malaysia fourth (36-20-14).

“We are all so proud of our Filipino para-athletes in overcoming many severe challenges so they can excel and come back to the country with their best performance yet in the 11th ASEAN Para Games,” noted Barredo of the outing funded by the PSC.

“Although we finished in fifth place once again, the marked improvement in our medal output showed how determined and hungry our athletes were to perform in Malaysia,” he added.
PSC Executive Director and acting officer-in-charge Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr. also lauded the achievements of the PH para-athletes.

“This is another milestone for Team Philippines. We have surpassed our past APG participation with this big medal haul for this edition. The agency thanks you all for such an inspiring performance. We are all very proud of you,” Iroy said.

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