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Uytengsu watches Bachmann’s back

Richard “Dickie” Bachmann will do great in his job as chairperson of the Philippine Sports Commission but deserves to be given enough time to warm up his seat to produce terrific results, his former boss Steven Uytengsu said.

“I know Dickie is a man of integrity, he has a tremendous work ethic, he has a vision on what he wants to achieve and the challenge will be how can he achieve that with some of the constraints?” Uytengsu, Alaska Milk Corporation chief executive officer, said during the Asics Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series launch at the Manila City Hall.

Before being appointed at the PSC, Bachmann was a part of the Alaska Aces team not just as a player, assistant coach, team manager and team governor.

Bachmann was an integral part in 13 of the 14 PBA crowns won by Alaska.

“I have every confidence that he will make some good decisions. But I also think people need to give him time to affect these changes. Change doesn’t happen overnight, especially in an institution like the PSC.”

Uytengsu, a former president of the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (now known as Philippine Swimming Inc.), also said the former Alaska governor must have his own set of men in order to get the job done.

With the competitions such as the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou taking place this year and the 2024 Paris Olympics a year away, people are relying on Bachmann to repeat or do better than his predecessor, William “Butch” Ramirez.

Under Ramirez’s term, the Philippines produced its first gold medal in the Summer Games after Hidilyn Diaz’s historic win in weightlifting.

But for Uytengsu, those are not the battles he needs to prove himself with.

“He needs to have the leeway to have some of his own people because Dickie will have his own way of doing things and maybe some of the people there aren’t accustomed to that way of working. So, I hope the government does give him support,” Uytengsu said.

“To expect change to happen and results this year, I think that’s not reasonable. We’re not going to see things that will happen right now.”

“I think we have to be looking more into LA 2028, the next Asian Games where he’s able to create some of those opportunities with the athletes.”

Uytengsu said Bachmann is welcome to get advice from him if the situation calls for it but believes he has the capability to do things the right way.

He also encouraged national sport associations not just to rally behind him but also to help out in improving their athletes.

“I told Dickie he has an open door. If he ever needs advice, if he ever wants my opinion, I’m happy to share it with him,” Uytengsu said.

“But Dickie has moved on to a new chapter in his life. He will work hard to achieve it.”

The Alaska chief also thinks the PSC chairman shouldn’t take all the blame whenever something bad happens to a federation.

“Everybody will look at the chairman but he also needs the support of the NSA heads for them to do their job. They need to be held accountable and the problem is the PSC chairman doesn’t choose the NSA head,” Uytengsu said.

“If they’re not supporting their athletes, how is that the fault of the PSC chairman?”

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