The Philippine Sports Commission will make sure that Alex Eala will get rewarded following her victorious performance in the US Open early Sunday (Manila time) at the USTGA Billie Jean King Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.
PSC chairperson Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala, said the 17-year-old Eala will be given incentive for her impressive feat in which she became the first Filipino to win a Grand Slam singles title after beating world No. 3 Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-4, in the final.
Eala’s father — Mike — is the first cousin of the PSC chief. Meanwhile, her mother — Rizza — was also an athlete who won the bronze medal in the women’s 100-meter backstroke event of the 1985 Southeast Asian Games in Bangkok.
“She deserves to be given a reward, not because she is my relative, but because of what she accomplished,” Noli said in a telephone interview with Daily Tribune.
“I think it’s just proper that we give her the proper recognition and incentives that she deserves. It will surely motivate her to work hard in training and perform better in competitions.”
Under the Republic Act 10699, or the Athletes and Coaches Incentives Act, those who emerged victorious in regular international tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Olympics are set to be given cash incentives.
The same goes for world and Asian-level competitions that are being held every two years with at least 45 countries participating.
The US Open, however, is a little bit tricky because the law states that those who win in competitions that grant prize money are not covered by the incentives act.
Although the champions in the senior events of the US Open stand to receive attractive incentive packages, the same doesn’t apply to those who won in the junior events they only get ranking points.
Still, Noli stressed that the achievement of his niece will not go unnoticed.
“I think she had an issue with the PSC in the past about the lack of support,” said Noli, recalling the social media post of Mike in which he clarified that his daughter failed to receive support from the government following her French Open stint two years ago.
“Now, it won’t happen. I will make sure that Alex and other elite Filipino athletes will get the government support they truly deserve.”
“It’s a junior event so we are studying it,” PSC executive director Guillermo Iroy said when asked about the amount Eala stands to receive for her feat.