A SIMPLE yet meaningful get-together was held recently by the Board of Trustees of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines and scores of student athletes bound for the Summer Universiade in New Taipei City from Aug. 19 to 30.
In attendance to wish the athletes the best during the dinner meeting at the National Press Club building along Intramuros, Manila were FESSAP officials, led by businessman-sportsman-philanthropist Alvin Tai Lian, FESSAP Board Chair and the Philippine Head of Delegation to the Taipei Universiade; David Ong, FESSAP president; Angel Ngu, the honorary president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries; FESSAP vice chairman Danilo Madlansacay, Robert Milton Calo, FESSAP executive vice president and Chair of the Universiade Preparation and Monitoring Committee; and Paul Gutierrez, National Press Club president.
San Miguel Corporation, led by FESSAP deputy Secretary General, Col. Ariel Querubin, who is also the Philippine delegation General Manager, was represented by Jeane Monteverde, FESSAP treasurer. Querubin was out of town on a business trip.
Alvin Tai Lian and David Ong revealed that businessman Angel Ngu is a perfect choice as the Philippine flag bearer in the Taipei Universiade not only because of his business intelligence, but also due to his humanitarian activities with the FFCCCII.
The Philippines will compete in 13 events in the multi-sports festivities that feature the top university athletes from as many as 180 countries, including sports powers United States, Russia, People’s Republic of China, France, Italy, Australia and Germany.
These are archery, athletics, badminton, billiards, diving, judo, golf, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, lawn tennis, weightlifting and wushu.
“I wish our athletes the best,” said the youthful-looking Tai.
“Be ambassadors of goodwill as you compete for the glory of the country,” he told the athletes present in the get-together.
Tai was optimistic of a medal finish in some disciplines.
“I expect the country to do well in golf, billiards and wushu,” declared Tai, who is no stranger to wushu, having been a practitioner of the Chinese martial arts during his prime.
Independently well attended is the FESSAP Athletes’ Commission led by JC Clarito, Kert Bryan Ocampo, Ann Janeth Garcia, Jingky Obanon and Eloisa Guillermo, who led the athletes for the get-together.
The privately-funded FESSAP is the sole national university sports federation in the country that is a regular member of the International University Sports Federation, the world’s governing body for university sports,.
Since being recognized by the FISU in 2009, the Philippines has produced two medals in its three previous stints in the biennial Summer Universiade.
The country bagged a silver during the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade in China through men’s taekwondo jin Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison.
A first-ever Universiade gold was struck during the 2013 Kazan Games in the Russian Federation when Grandmaster Wesley So topped men’s chess.
The Philippines was shut out of a podium finish during the 2015 Gwangju Universiade. Its best finish came in men’s golf where a Filipino-American student from Seton Hall University Lloyd Jefferson Go placed seventh. Graham Lim
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