PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia lashed back at Philippine Swimming Inc. president Mark Joseph who blamed lack of support for the embarrassing showing of Filipino divers in the recent 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Instead of pinning the blame on the government sports agency, Garcia said it’s Joseph who should be pinned down for the failure of the federation formerly known as the Philippine Aquatics Sports Association to develop its athletes.
The PSC chairman held Joseph responsible for the poor showing of divers John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo, who fared so badly in the 3m springboard event videos of their 'zero dives' went viral, earning the duo the tag ‘Splash Brothers.’
To drive home his point, Garcia said the PSC last year allotted a P24 million funding to the swimming association which only used P4 million due to "a lack of program."
“We had a budget of P24 million last year. Pero P20 million ang hindi nagamit,” Garcia said. “Unavailed ‘yung budget because there was no program.
“Money is not the issue. I-presenta mo ‘yung programa,” the PSC chairman added.
Garcia statement was in obvious reaction to a Spin.ph report a few weeks ago quoting Joseph as saying ‘If you don’t invest, don’t expect,’ in the aftermath of the ‘Splash Brothers’ embarrassing showing in the SEA Games
In the end, the PSC chief said it is the responsibility of the National Sports Association (NSAs) to formulate programs to discover and train athletes, citing the case of triathlon which completed a sweep of both the men’s and women’s events during the biennial meet.
“The NSA plays an important role in preparation sa Games. Tignan mo ‘yung triathlon, gumawa sila ng budget, sinama sa Portugal (ang mga athletes), pinondohan namin, may result. Pero may mga NSAs na walang programa,” lamented Garcia.
“We gave them a budget, hindi nila maubos,” he said, referring to PSI. ”Unavailed ang budget dahil walang programa.”
Garcia even chided Joseph, who he said was a no-show during the diving competitions in Singapore and failed to give moral support to the athletes.
“Kulang ang suporta ng presidente ng NSA. Hindi ko nga nakita si Mark Joseph sa diving,” said Garcia.