Barca legend bet for ‘Hall’ enshrinement

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-Spanish Paulino Alcantara could be the first from football to become a member of the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame.

The name of Alcantara, born in Concepcion, Iloilo to a Spanish military officer and an Ilongga mother in 1896, has reportedly popped up during the series of deliberations on who will make the next batch to be enshrined to the PSHOF.

Alcantara, best remembered for powering the country to a memorable 15-2 destruction of Japan in the 1917 Tokyo Far Eastern Championship Games, the precursor of the Asian Games, was nominated by the Philippine Football Foundation.

Alcantara was also legend for FC Barcelona where he remained the youngest player to ever play and score a goal and once held for 87 years the record for most goals scored for the club with 369 in 357 matches before it was broken by Argentinian star Lionel Messi in 2014.

If Alcantara gets the nod, he will be the first one from his sport to be inducted and join an elite cast from disciplines like athletics, basketball, boxing, swimming, chess, lawn tennis, shooting, weightlifting, baseball/softball, golf and bowling.

“We have already received additional nominations since the extension of submissions, and we are expecting for more as we near the deadline,” said PSHOF 2020 Selection Committee and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

While Alcantara would need to pass deliberations, boxers Leopoldo Serantes and Velasco bothers Roel and Mansueto will be automatically enshrined in the PSHOF this year because of the new resolution approving Olympic medalists outright.

Serantes copped a bronze in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, Roel a bronze in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain and Mansueto a silver in 1996 in Atlanta, US.

Among the past recipients of the award were Asia’s First Chess Grandmaster Eugene Torre, Asia’s Fastest Woman Lydia de Vega, Bowling World champions Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno and Olivia “Bong” Coo, and Filipino Boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.

Since its establishment via Republic Act No. 8757, the PSHOF had already inducted a total of 37 Hall of Famers in three batches – 10 in 2010, 17 in 2016 and 10 in 2018.

And Alcantara could just end up on that list.

Date: January 30, 2021 | By: Joey Villar | Newspaper: Philippine Star | Source: