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Pato Gregorio 'excited' to lead PH rowing

MANILA -- Patrick 'Pato' Gregorio looks forward to heading the Philippine Rowing Association (PRA) with a positive outlook.

"I'm excited to be the new president of this NSA (national sports association)," Gregorio said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriter Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel on Tuesday.

While he may be new to the rowing community, he is not new to handling a major sports organization as he is the secretary general of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the vice president of the Alliance of Boxing Associations in the Philippines.

However, he is more known as the former governor of Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Basketball Association, even leading the league's board of governors at some point.

With his expertise in leading the way for various sports bodies, national team coach Ed Maerina believes the Philippine rowing scene will get some newfound relevance again.

"Sa totoo lang, dumating na ang aming pag-asa na mabuhay uli ang rowing (The truth is we have now new hope to revive rowing)," Maerina said.

Gregorio said he intends to use his term to further introduce rowing to the Filipinos.

"In the next four years, I'll be very excited to help promote the sport," he added.

After its three gold and one bronze haul at the 30th Southeast Asian Games last month, the PRA kicked off its Olympic year campaign with the election of Gregorio.

Gregorio joined the group led by PRA chairman Benjamin Ramos, former president Quintin Pastrana and former secretary-general James Dee who he gives credit to not just for last year’s achievements but also for PRA’s continued stability over the years.

Other PRA officials and Board of Directors include Pastrana (vice president), Jercyl Lerin (secretary-general), Magnum Membrere (deputy secretary-general and treasurer), John Empig (director) and Maria Concepcion Fornea (director).

The new PRA leadership has extended full support to SEA Games gold winners Melcah Jen Caballero, Joanie Delgaco, and Cris Nievarez who are aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the FISA Asia and Oceania Olympic Qualifying tournament in Korea in April. (PNA)

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