PH para athletes Ancheta, Mangliwan get backing from Citibank ahead of ASEAN Para Games

Top officials from Citibank formalized their partnership with two Philippine para athletes. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG--With two months left before the ASEAN Para Games, two of the Philippines' top para athletes got a major boost from one of the world's top banking companies.

Citibank announced on Monday that powerlifter Adeline Ancheta and wheelchair racer Jerrold Mangliwan will be part of "Team Citi".

Team Citi is a group of para athletes from different countries who will be given support by Citibank.

"I feel very honored and privileged syempre kasi there are more than a hundred of us and for Team Citi to pick me to be one of their athletes to sponsor is really a big honor and I'm very happy about it," Ancheta, the most heralded Philippine para athlete right now, told Dugout Philippines during the press launch at Treston International College.

"I'm grateful and honored kasi out of 42 athletes around the world, isa ako sa mga napili. Sobrang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa Citibank," added Mangliwan in a separate chat with Dugout Philippines.

Citibank did not take a long time to bring Ancheta into Team Citi since she already won an Olympic bronze and seven ASEAN Para Games golds.

However, Mangliwan is someone not to overlook as he is the defending ASEAN Para Games wheelchair champion with a bronze in last year's Asian Para Games also in his collection.

"Adeline and Jerrold are the embodiment of strength and courage in the face of adversity and are great ambassadors for Paralympic sport," said Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed in a statement. "We are deeply honored to have them as part of Team Citi."

Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo sees the new partnership as a starting point for more people to pledge their support for the local para athletes.

"We need to be able to work towards a shared vision and get more people from all sectors of society to engage and involve themselves in the cause of Paralympic sports," Barredo said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno