Zamora, Meneses lead list of sportsmen-turned-politicians

Francis Zamora, Vergel Meneses and Richard Gomez are among 12 sportsmen elected for public office following Monday’s elections.

Zamora, Meneses lead list of sportsmen-turned-politicians
Francis Zamora

A former member of the La Salle Green Archers and amateur basketball player, Zamora distinguished himself when he ended the 50-year reign of the Estrada family in the City of San Juan.

Running under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the 41-year-old Zamora was proclaimed the new mayor of the city. 

He took the mayoralty position with  35,060 votes,  beating Janella Ejercito Estrada, who only had 24,813 votes.

Zamora, who lost in the 2016 elections, is following in his father Ronnie Zamora’s political footsteps. He was the team captain of the  Green Archers, who won two UAAP championships in Men's Basketball in 1998 and 1999.

He continued his passion for the game after college in the Philippine Basketball League with the Welcoat Paintmasters, where he won two championships in 1999 and 2000. 

He played for  Blu Detergent as an amateur and was the 35th draft pick in the 2001 Philippine Basketball Association by the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

So far, Zamora’s love for the game of basketball has not waned, and he connects with his constituents through sports.

On the other hand,  Meneses, who gave up his coaching job with Jose Rizal University last year to concentrate on politics,  won the mayoral race in Bulakan Town of Bulacan.

Multi-sport athlete Richard Gomez, a gold medalist in fencing in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games before, ran unopposed and will serve as mayor of Ormoc City.

He will also continue with his post as the current president of the Philippine Fencing Association.

Gomez, now 53, is among four public officials who have positions in the POC. The other two are POC chairman,  Tagaytay congressman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and Surigao cong. Prospero Pichay.

Then, there’s Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Sonny Angara, who is in the Top 10 of the senatorial race based on the partial results released by the Commission on Elections. 

Among those who sought posts as councilors in the local polls are Dondon Hontiveros (second district of Cebu), UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag (Makati), and former collegiate head coach Binky Favis (second district of Paranaque).

Marikina Shoemakers'  head coach Elvis Tolentino (second district of Marikina), along with Adamson coach Franz Pumaren (third district of Quezon City), Paul Artadi (first district of San Juan), Yoyong Martirez (second district of Pasig City), and SWU coach Yayoy Alcoseba (Cebu) also ran for public office. 

As of this posting, Angara and former UP volleybelle Pia Cayetano are in the Top 10 of the senatorial race based on the partial COMELEC results.

On the other hand Gillas Pilipinas head coach and NLEX mentor Yeng Guiao was unable to reclaim a seat in the House of Representatives (first district of Pampanga).

Philippine Taekwondo secretary general Monsour del Rosario, who is the chef de mission for the SEA Games later this year, also lost in the race for vice mayor in Makati City.

Del Rosario, a 1986 Asian Games bronze medalist and is still active in taekwondo, once served as the representative of the first district.

Don Allado, former PBA player and Adamson deputy mentor, did secure a seat in the San Juan City council.

Another former cager, Peter Aguilar, who ran for vice mayor in Sasmuan, Pampanga, also lost.

Topics: Francis Zamora , Vergel Meneses , Richard Gomez , Elections , Philippine Fencing Association
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