May 23, 2024

With four of its student-athletes fighting in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the University of Baguio is one of the loudest supporters cheering for its boxing wards who are raking in medals for the country led by silver medalist Nesthy Petecio.
UB President Javier Herminio Bautista said it is a proud moment for the university to have its student-athletes represent the country in the Olympics and to bring in medals on top of that.
Aside from Petecio, the other UB student-athletes are Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, who both advanced in the medal rounds; and Irish Magno, who was the first to qualify for the Olympics but later bowed to a Thai opponent.
Bautista said while the athletes currently study in the university, the school is merely a tool that helped them reach their full potential.
The skills and the talent are completely from the hard work and dedication of the athletes themselves. 
Petecio, who is from Davao City, is taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Paalam, who is assured of a silver medal and the youngest member of the boxing squad at 23 years old, is from Cagayan de Oro City and is under the senior high program, while Magno, who won a bronze medal, is from Manila and is taking up Bachelor of Science in Criminology.
Marcial is a UB alumnus now serving with the Philippine Air Force.
UB Athletic Director Alan Elegado said the athletes have been recruited by the university through former Philippine Boxing Team coach Boy Catoliko when the national squad conducted its training camp in Baguio City.
Elegado said the athletes have idle time in between their high-altitude training, which is why they were encouraged to enroll their desired courses at UB.
He said while the accomplished athletes are training, they were also pushed to fulfill their respective requirements in school. He said most of them are motivated to pursue their studies as well while fulfilling their duties as part of the Philippine boxing team.
Bautista said the university has always been supportive of its student athletes, which was an influence of the school’s founder and his grandfather, the late Fernando “Tatay” Bautista, who was a sporting fan and supporter especially of grassroots athletes.
Bautista added the love and value for sports and helping out student-athletes were passed from his grandfather to his sons and to them, their grandchildren, which he said they will continue.
Two more UB student-athletes and members of PH boxing team, Aira Villegas and Josie Gabuco, were supposed to be included in the Olympics but their weight class categories were not available in the Tokyo Olympics. 
Bautista said they are planning to hold a testimonial dinner for the Olympians during their homecoming while the city government proposes to have a motorcade for the world champions.
Since 2016, student-athletes from UB has brought home more than 30 medals in various international sports activities including the Southeast Asian Games. – Ofelia C. Empian