BOXING legend Sen. Manny Pacquiao and three other national leaders known for their steadfast support to sports have been invited by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to grace the second Professional Sports Summit through Zoom teleconferencing and Facebook live on Dec.5.
GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra said Sen. Pacquiao, Sen. Bong Go, Sen. Sonny Angara and Sen. Joel Villanueva are expected to contribute immensely to the whole-day virtual discussion about professional sports with the different stakeholders under the new normal.
The summit theme is “Leadership in Crisis.”
“We’re hoping to match the success of our first-ever sports summit held last year, although we’re doing it virtual as we embrace the new normal platform of gathering people,” said Mitra during the 21st “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Thursday.
Mitra said the one-day virtual event will be divided into two parts: the morning session which will showcase different topics related to boxing rules, mental health, and laws related to professional sports, among others, and the afternoon session, which will be a live session, wherein different sports icons and national leaders are expected to attend.
“This is another significant event in Philippine professional sports and we expect our national leaders as well as stakeholders in different professional sports to attend,” said Mitra during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and GAB.
“We promised to make this pro sports summit worthwhile. We have invited several resource speakers who can talk about the best practices in the sports bubble, as well as the importance of sports psychology and gender issues,” Mitra told editor and reporters during the forum.
Mitra, who was personally appointed by President Duterte in 2016, said the event is aimed at gathering and collecting ideas and best practices from high-profile professional sports leagues, such as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Football League (PFL), Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP), Premier Volleyball League (PVL), Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) , Chooks-to-Go 3×3, Pilipinas, Pilipinas Golf Tournament, Inc. and the National Basketball League (NBL) and its affiliate Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).
Among the sports icons invited to join are billiards legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Asia’s first grandmaster Eugenee Torre, former world boxing champion Gerry Peñalosa and former PBA Best Import Sean Chambers of Alaska Milk.
Assisting Mitra in the virtual event are GAB Commissioners Mar Masanguid and Eduard Trinidad and other hard-working officials and employees of the government supervisory agency in sports.
Last year, Sen. Go, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, and Sen. Angara, Chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), graced the first-ever Professional Sports Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The two sports-minded lawmakers gave their inspirational messages to more than 600 participants from different parts of the world.
The virtual session will be hosted by Bill Velasco.