Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez expressed on Tuesday that country's overall performance in the recently concluded 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games was nothing to be ashamed of, a good finish, despite the challenges Filipino bets had to face in the buildup to the meet.

/ 26 May 2022

“Our performance in bringing home 52 gold, 70 silver, and 104 bronze medals in placing fourth overall in the medal standings was a good finish despite the various challenges our national athletes had to face amid the Covid-19 pandemic before competing in Vietnam,” Ramirez said in a statement.

“It would have been a very good finish had we converted 50 percent of our silvers (to gold) and bronzes (to silver),” he continued.

The Philippines held tight for third place but bowed out behind the strong efforts of Thailand and Indonesia.

Vietnam bagged the overall champion with a whopping haul of 205 gold medals along with 125 silvers and 116 bronzes.

Thailand ranked second with its 92 golds, 103 silvers, and 136 bronzes while Indonesia placed third with 69 golds, 91 silvers, and 81 bronzes.

The 31st SEA Games also marked the end of the Philippines’ dominance in men’s basketball, with Gilas Pilipinas getting dethroned by Indonesia.

Chef de mission Ramon Fernandez also expressed his satisfaction, stating that this was the country’s best finish in a SEA Games held outside of the Philippines since 1983.

Furthermore, Ramirez stressed the need for a long-term program and sufficient funding in order to produce more sporting heroes.

“You need money for coaches, both local and foreign, airfare, transportation and hotel for international exposure to season them, plus the logistical support like proper nutrition, sports psychology, and medicine for athletes discovered abroad or locally,” he explained.

He then took weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz as a prime example of having an effective long-term program, making her Olympic debut in Beijing as a wild card entry when she was 17, winning silver in her third Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 before winning the country’s first-ever gold medal in Tokyo last year.

At the same time, Ramirez renewed his commitment and support “to our private partners, the Philippine Olympic Committee and the National Sports Association,” in promoting and nurturing athletes for international play.