Padilla, 9 others make it to Hall of Fame

October 12, 2018

TEN of the country’s greatest athletes in the past seven decades, led by basketball great Ambrosio Padilla and baseball legend Filomeno “Boy” Codiñera, will be formally enshrined in  the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame  in fitting ceremonies at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) next month.

Padilla, the  team captain of the Philippine basketball team which  finished  fifth in  the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and  Codiñera, the first Filipino player to be cited in the Guinness Book of Word Records after  hitting  seven consecutive doubles in the 1968 Men’s Softball World Championship in  Oklahoma, were  unanimous  selections during the extensive, three-month long deliberations  conducted by the Philippine  Sports Commission (PSC).

Padilla, long considered as the Father of Philippine basketball after the establishment of the Basketball Association of the Phililippines (BAP) in 1936, and Codiñera, best remembered for his grand slam home run  against  Mexico during the 1972 Men’s Softball World Championship in Marikina, earned the most number of votes of the 10-member screening and review committee.

No less than PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez announced  the  selection  of Padilla, Codiñera and eight other distinguished Filipino athletes who brought pride and  joy in the wonderful world of sports.

“It is with pride that I announce the 10  newest  members of the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame,” said  Ramirez.

The induction ceremony  is set on Nov.22, 6 p.m. at the PICC.

Three champion bowlers -- four-time World Cup champion Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno, 1978 Asian  Games gold  medalist Olivia “Bong” Coo and 1979 FIQ gold medalist  Lita de la Rosa--will join  Padilla and Codiñera  in the  honor roll.

Also making it  to the elite list were  two-time Asian Games sprint champion Lydia de Vega-Mercado, golf giant Ben Arda, track and  field  star Josephine de la Vina,  basketball hero Loreto Carbonell  and  boxing champion Erbito  Salavarria.

Nepomuceno is the winningest Filipino  bowler in history with four World Cup titles in 1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996; Coo was a gold medal winner in the 1978 Asian Games in Thailand and World FIQ in 1979 in Manila; De la Rosa topped the World Cup in Bogota, Colombia in 1978;  De Vega was Asia’s fastest woman in 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, India;  Arda emerged as Asia Golf Circuit champion in  1970  and World Cup qualifier 16 times; De la Vina was gold medalist in the 1966  Asian Games and 1973 Asian Championships; Carbonell was gold medalist in 1958 Tokyo Asian Games and 1960 Manila FIBA Asia Championships; and Salavarria was flyweight  boxing  king  from  1970 to 1975.

Aside  from Ramirez, the other  members of  the  PSC  Sports Hall of Fame  screening and  review  committee are   GAmes and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra,  Akiko Thomson  of  the Philippine  Olympian  Association;  Ed  Piczon,  Bernie  Atienza   and  Pearl Managuelod, who  represented the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC);  and   sports  editors Dodo Catacutan Spin.Ph, Teddyvic  Melendres of   Inquirer, Jun Lomibao of Business Mirror, Randy Caluag of  Ripples  and  Ed Andaya of People’s Tonight.

All 10  Hall of   Fame  inductees  will  receive  P100,000 and a finely-crafted  trophy  based on Republic Act  8757 signed by President Estrada on Nov. 25, 1999.

The past Hall of Fame enshrinees are:

First batch  (May , 2010) --Simeon Toribio (athletics), Miguel White  (athletics), Carlos Loyzaga (basketball), Ceferino Garcia (boxing), Gabriel Elorde (boxing), Jose Villanueva (boxing) Pancho Villa (boxing), Anthony Villanueva  (boxing), Teofilo Yldefonso  (swimming) and the 1954 Philippine men’s basketball team.

Second   batch  (January 2016) --  Inocencia Solis (athletics), Isaac Gomez  (athletics), Mona Sulaiman (Athletics), Ed Ocampo (basketball), Kurt Bachmann (basketball),  Mariano Tolentino (basketball), Eugene Torre (chess), Raymundo Deyro (tennis), Jonny Jose (tennis), Felicisimo Ampon (tennis), Adolfo Feliciano (shooting), Martin  Gison (shooting), Ral Rosario (swimming), Mohammad Mala (swimming), Jacinto Cayco (swimming), Haydee Coloso-Espino (swimming) and  Salvador del Rosario (weightlifting).