Martelino is remembered as a brilliant sports leader of PH

By on September 28, 2021 0

Based on the memories of his contemporaries and associates, sports veteran Mauricio “Moying” Martelino, who died last Wednesday at the age of 86, has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Filipino sports, especially bowling. , basketball and women’s volleyball.

“Moying and I were very close since the 1970s because he was the general secretary of the former Philippine Bowling Congress,” said Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Steve Hontiveros, who was a former PBC chairman. “He was already a great sports administrator at the time.”

Hontiveros said Martelino’s home in Malate was located near the former Bowling Inn along Taft Avenue, which was one of the reasons the latter immersed himself in the sport.

“Moying became good friends with the owner of Bowling Inn as he became a regular player there,” Hontiveros recalls.

The POC official said that Martelino’s organizational skills were such that it wouldn’t be long before Gonzalo “Lito” Puyat II, president of the Philippine Basketball Association at the time, noticed the talents. of his brother-in-law and courted him at the BAP as general secretary.

“Lito’s wife and Moying’s wife are sisters, so there was that connection,” he said.

Recognized administrative and managerial skills

Bowling defeat became basketball winning, Martelino flaunting his courage as executive director of the 1978 World Basketball Championship, as the FIBA ​​World Cup was then known, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and at the Araneta Coliseum, rich in heritage.

Puyat, serving his first term as the first Asian president of the International Basketball Federation, known by its French acronym FIBA, the world’s sport governing body, knew he could count on his quietly efficient BAP general secretary to doing the tremendous job, according to Hontiveros.

Given his growing reputation as an excellent manager of major sporting events, his next assignment was that of the right-hand man of Michael Marcos Keon, nephew of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, who was appointed the first executive director of the project: Gintong Alay.

Project: Gintong Alay was the predecessor of the Philippine Sports Commission, with Keon having general authority and government funds to oversee the national sports program.

Given his influence in Malacañang, the Australian-born sports executive also served as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee from 1981 to 1984 and benefited greatly from his contributions from connoisseur Martelino.

His unparalleled managerial skills were once again put to good use as General Manager of Media for the Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 1981, the first time the country hosted the regional sports festival, and a role that ‘he would resume 24 years later with the SEA Games in the Philippines in 2005.

When the People Power Revolt of 1986 toppled President Marcos and his Malacañang family, Gintong Alay briefly retreated but was revived under the administration of President Corazon Aquino, who appointed Jose Romasanta as the new project director. Gintong Alay.

In the meantime, Martelino again became secretary general of the BAP and served in the administrative building of the Rizal Memorial along Vito Cruz (now known as Pablo Ocampo Sr. Street) whose top floor was where Romasanta ran the Gintong Alay program.

“He (Martelino) was really Mr. Basketball because of his deep technical knowledge of the sport. He was discreet but a superb organizer. He was a real gentleman and we never saw him get angry or say anything bad, ”Romasanta recalls of his memories of being in charge of the BAP at the time.

Accessible, media friendly

Veteran former sports journalist Ignacio Dee, who now works for the Japanese news agency Daily Manila Shimbun, was among those who saw Martelino up close during his happy days.

“Martelino was seemingly self-effacing and soft-spoken, masking his intense work ethic. He was always prepared and his briefings were always in plain English. He was rarely upset and understood people well, ”Dee said.

“He treated journalists, veterans or rookies the same. He never treated journalists as adversaries, even if their views differed from his. “

With his additional experience and skill in basketball, Martelino was lured out of the country to work with the Qatar National Olympic Committee, according to Hontiveros, and then served as general secretary of the Asian Basketball Confederation from 1991. to 1998.

Among those who witnessed his manipulation of the Asian cage body and his staff was former sports scribe Rhea Navarro, whom Martelino helped land a job with ABC Promotions Ltd., the marketing and promotions arm of the company. ‘ABC, and also served as its Communications and Liaison Officer.

“He (Martelino) was very passionate about his work. He loved what he did, he was very thorough, very organized and meticulous, ”said Navarro,“ but listened to everyone, no matter what their stature in life. “

She shared an anecdote involving the former ABC sec-gen, who knew their basketball rules like the back of their hand, and an angry chef from a Middle Eastern country during a game of the 1995 ABC Men’s Championships. in Seoul, South Korea.

“Sir Moying didn’t back down and recited the exact rule for the basketball in question. He knew his basketball by heart, ”she recalls. “The Sheikh was one of his staunch supporters.

Navarro said in the 1998 ABC polls held in Bangkok, the majority of Gulf basketball countries wanted Martelino to be re-elected as secretary-general, but “politely” declined their support which could have earned him a third. mandate.

Cited by FIBA ​​with the Order of Merit in 1999

In recognition of his contributions to sport, FIBA ​​awarded the Sports Executive in 1999 its Distinguished Order of Merit at the World Organization’s Congress in Barcelona, ​​one of six Asians to receive this honor. Puyat was the first Filipino to win this honor in 1994.

Despite being semi-retired, Martelino was never far from his passion for basketball, with Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas using his services as a consultant from 2001 to 2010.

Already in the late 1970s, he showed the heart of a patriot when he was at the forefront of the SBP’s valiant but unsuccessful efforts to include naturalized player Andray Blatche in the basketball team of Gilas Pilipinas at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

“For a decade, Mauricio ‘Moying’ Martelino served Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as a senior consultant,” SBP chairman Al S. Panlilio said in a statement. “With his vast knowledge and international experience, he was a true elderly statesman whose contributions have always been appreciated.

“The Philippine basketball community has lost a true trailblazer, but its imprint in our sport is indelible. His invaluable insights and wisdom will be missed. The SBP offers its deepest condolences to the Martelino family.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, who was among the few foreigners to attend Martelino’s vigil at Heritage Park in Taguig City, said on the occasion that the sports veteran’s many basketball connections made his much easier work.

Not one to twiddle his thumbs, Martelino, former PBA commissioner Jun Bernardino, former Ateneo university star Ricky Palou and Navarro formed Sports Vision and Management Inc. in 2004.

Sports Vision was the originator of the highly successful Shakey’s Volleyball League, which eventually evolved into the Premier Volleyball League, becoming a mainstay of the sports scene and serving as a catalyst for the local renaissance of the sport.

The Martelino brand was useful during Sports Vision’s early years, according to Palou.

“Moying opened doors for Sports Vision, especially with sponsors who were comfortable being associated with us because of his name,” said Palou. “His advice and reminders kept us on our toes to do our best. “

Sev Sarmenta fondly recalled his interaction with the revered sportsman as one of the league’s regular sports commentators.

“Sir Moying was the senior sports leader we all went to for information and clarification on (volleyball) rules. It was always fun asking this basketball man about volleyball later when he helped lead Shakey’s League V. As always, he was ready to help and clarify. A true sports leader, ”said Sarmenta.

Bernardino’s son Nolan also cherished the moments he spent with the sportsman.

“He (Martelino) and my father have been inseparable since my father retired from the PBA. They were always together and I drove for them whenever I could. I heard them talk about sports (volleyball, basketball, baseball) all the time, ”remembers the young Bernardino.

“For dad, Tito Moying was one of the greatest Filipino sportsmen. He was lively. Sports management was second nature to him,” he added. “He was a highly respected sportsman here and in the world. He was a great mentor to Dad and to me, ”he added.

When the Bernardinos watched the 2002 FIBA ​​World Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana with Martelino, the son of the late PBA commissioner saw with his own eyes how much the official Philippine basketball veteran was respected and loved. on the international cage scene.

“A lot of people would approach us and greet him (Martelino), hug him and were really happy to see him. Tito Moying shaped Filipino basketball, Tito Moying took local volleyball to the next level. Tito Moying was one of the Philippines’ most valuable sportsmen. He cannot be replaced, ”he said.

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