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Pencak Silat prexy believes dedication and discipline is foremost for athletes

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PENCAK Silat Federation president Princess Jacel Kiram said that not just talent but also the discipline and character of an athlete are used for the selection of members of the Philippine Team competing in various international competitions including the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 12-27.

“We could not promise a medal, but I’m proud to say that this team that we form for the Vietnam SEAG is the result of hard work, dedication, discipline, and character-building program,” Kiram said during her visit to Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) ‘Usapang Sports’ on Thursday via Zoom.

The Pinoy pencak silat warriors won one gold, and two silver medals in the Manila edition in 2019.

“Our coaches have made a big adjustment because of the pandemic, most athletes are at home. But after allowing us to practice in the ‘bubble’ set-up last year, the advancement in training continued,” Kiram said in the program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Games and Amusements Board (GAB), and PAGCOR.

The entire team is currently in Nueva Viscaya since November last year for the ‘bubble’ training and based on the program and the PSC’s willingness to extend the bubble training for two months, Kiram claimed that the entire delegation has no choice but going straight for the Vietnam trip.

“This is really the ultimate sacrifice for our athletes, especially for Francine (Padios) whose father is still confined in a hospital in Aklan,” said Kiram.

The 18-year-old Padios is living proof of the importance of a solid grassroots sports program when from being reserved at the age of 16-years-old she successfully won a silver medal in the Manila edition two years ago.

“Even I still can’t believe I won a medal in the SEA Games. I am grateful to my coaches and Madame Princess Kiram for the trust given to me. In Vietnam, I will try to win a gold medal,” said Padios.

Padios even recalled that she was informed to replace the then No.1 women’s single tunggal artist Cherry May Regalado for the Manila SEA Games after the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist suffered a right knee injury during training.

But Kiram quickly admitted that it was not just the issue of injury as the reason Regalado was replaced in the team but due to her attitude towards her teammates and officials. The coaching staff unanimously decided to drop her from the team.

“Actually, sa pagpili ng atleta secondary na lang yung talent. First and foremost yung discipline, character, and how do you deal with your teammates, coach, and officials. Yan ang mga isyu kay Cherry (Regalado), that’s why the coaching staff decided to drop her and replaced her with Padios,” said  Kiram.

Kiram said the association observed due process in dropping Regalado. In the group official chat, she recalled that coaches informed her of the decision.

“We observed the due process. Hindi naman basta-basta lang. And the coaching staff informed her of the decision, immediately. The association is open for her comeback if she wants, basta tuloy siya magsanay at ayusin ang kanyang pakikisama sa lahat especially sa kanyang teammates,” Kiram added.

Aside of Padios, a Grade 12 student at Starglow Center for Academics and Arts sa Kalibo, Aklan, the 18-man (13 men and 5 women) SEAG-bound pencak team included Manila edition gold medalist Edmar Tacuel (men’s tunggal), silver medal winners siblings Alfau Jan Abad and Almohaidib Abad (tunggal/ganda event) and comebacking Dines Dumaan, a 2017 SEAG gold medal winner.

“Ipinaglaban namin sa POC si Dines dahil nakita namin yung kakayahan niya,” said Kiram, who was joined in ‘Usapan’ by boxing prospects Carl James Martin and 2016 Rio Olympian Charly Suarez and powerlifting champion Joyce Reboton. 

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