HEROES abound not just in the popular sports like basketball, boxing, volleyball and billiards.
Filipino athletes also brought tremendous pride to the country in excelling in their sport without much fanfare.
SPIN.ph pays tribute to these underappreciated athletes deserving of praise for their heroic feats.
Mary Joy Tabal
Tabal had a controversial 2017 that saw her removed from the national team only to be reinstated months before the Southeast Asian Games. The Rio Olympian then got redemption during the SEA Games in Malaysia where she dominated the women´s marathon, winning for the Philippines its first gold in the biennial competition.
Huelgas emerged as the first-ever back-to-back SEA Games gold medalist in triathlon, ruling the men´s event following a grueling training in his bid to stay as champion of the region.
Tabora joined an elite list of Filipino bowlers when she ruled the World Cup in November. Previously, only Paeng Nepomuceno, Lita Dela Rosa, Bong Coo, and CJ Suarez were the other Pinoys who won the prestigious tournament with Suarez being the last Filipino bowler to bag the feat in 2003.
Beram turned heads not only for his looks but also for his athletic prowess during the 2017 SEA Games, as he was the only Filipino during the competition to win two gold medals, where he ruled the 200m and 400m run in Kuala Lumpur.
Diaz´s preparation for the 2020 Olympics got off to a good start when she captured the silver medal in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. She ended the year by winning a pair of medals, taking a silver in the clean-and-jerk, and bronze in the total of the World Championships.
Ma. Cielo Honasan
At 15, Honasan was already dominating the track in the Asean Paragames as she captured the women´s 100m, 200m, and 400m run in the T44 (single below knee amputation).
One of three gold medal winners in the 2017 Asean Paragames in Kuala Lumpur, Asusano ruled the field events, winning the women´s javelin throw, discus throw, and shotput in the F54 (wheelchair athletes).
Severino also won three gold medals in the 2017 Asean Paragames in chess as he took the men´s standard and rapid. He also won with Henry Roger Lopez and Felix Aguilera in the team standard.
Ramirez won one of the Philippines’ two gold medals in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan, ruling the women´s Ne-waza 55kg division.
Ochoa was the other gold medalist for the Philippines in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, winning the women´s Ne-waza 45kg event, a big follow-up to her and Ramirez´s gold in the 2016 Asian Beach Games.