9 named to Philippine Sports Hall of Fame
Nine of the greatest Filipino athletes and a team that took the country to unprecedented heights will be enshrined to the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame in a glittering ceremony on May 5 at the Maynilad Hall of the Manila Hotel.
Late boxing greats Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo, Ceferino Garcia and Jose “Cely” Villanueva and Anthony Villanueva, track and field stalwarts Miguel White and Teofilo Yldefonso, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, cager Carlos Loyzaga and the Philippine Team that won bronze in the 1954 World Basketball Championships make up the distinguished first batch of the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame.
Other outstanding athletes will be enshrined later.
Elorde reigned as world junior-lightweight champion for seven years until 1967, while Guilledo was the world flyweight champion from 1923 to 1925. Garcia enjoyed a brief yet memorable reign as world middleweight champion from October 1939 to May 1940.
Yldefonso bagged the country’s first Olympic medal when he finished third in the 200m breaststroke in the 1928 Amsterdam Games.
He won his second bronze in the same event four years later in Los Angeles.
The same Olympics saw the rise of Toribio, who brought home a bronze in the men’s long jump, and the pugilist, Jose “Cely” Villanueva, who captured a bronze in the bantamweight division.
Another Olympian, White took the bronze in the men’s 400-m hurdles in the 1936 Berlin Games.
As the spearhead of that 1954 RP men’s basketball team, Loyzaga was named to the mythical five of the World Basketball Championships in Rio de Janeiro.