Members of Gilas Pilipinas celebrate with their gold medals after defeating Jordan in the men's basketball gold medal at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Friday, October 6, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) on Tuesday distributed cash incentives to the brilliant players of the Philippine team at the Asian (Asian) Games in Hangzhou three months ago, with three individual gold medalists taking home P1 million each.

Grapplers Annie Ramirez and Meggie Ochoa and pole vault ace EJ Obiena were rewarded with the fruits of their labor, while Gilas Pilipinas, who ended a 61-year wait for the country to regain basketball gold, had all its members earning P200,000.

The POC disbursed a total of P12.5 million in bonuses, which President Bambol Tolentino hopes will encourage athletes to perform even better in the future.

“Our athletes deserve these cash incentives from POC. In addition to rewarding them for their efforts, this will motivate other athletes to perform exceptionally well in future competitions,'' said Tolentino.

Silver medalists Eumir Marcial (boxing) and Arnel Mandal (wushu) received P500,000 each and all individual bronze medalists took P300,000. In addition to the four gold and two silver medals, the Philippine team won 12 bronze medals.

Annie Ramirez reacts after winning gold in women's jiu-jitsu at the Asian Games.  –

Annie Ramirez reacts after winning gold in women's jiu-jitsu at the Asian Games. –POC POOL

Ramirez totaled P5 million in bonuses, including P2 million from the Philippine Sports Commission through the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and P2 million from President Marcos himself.

She said she will enjoy the holidays with the rest of her family before returning to work early next year.

“Among the tournaments I will compete in next year, it is the Aimag (Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games) that I am looking forward to. I want to defend my title there,” said Ramirez, who is currently busy with her soon-to-be booming business – a coffee shop in San Marcelino, Manila.

“This year, I think God had a plan for me. We have several tournaments next year, but I’m not thinking about them yet,” Ramirez told the Inquirer during the POC general assembly at the East Ocean Palace restaurant.

Ramirez first rose to prominence when the former University of Santo Tomas judoka ruled her weight class during the 2017 Aimag in Turkmenistan. INQ


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