Asiad bowling gold medalist begs off from Doha Games By Kristel Satumbaga



    Republished courtesy of The Manila Bulletin Online (Sept. 19, 2006)

    Top gold medal prospect RJ Bautista announced yesterday that he will not be able to represent the country in the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar this December.

    Bautista, who paired with the legendary Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno in winning one of three golds the country scooped in the Busan Games in 2002, begged off from taking part in the quadrennial event due to his job as flight steward for the Philippine Airlines.

    "Kinakailangan ko lang po talagang magtrabaho para sa pamilya ko. Ako po kasi ang inaasahan ng aking pamilya," Bautista said in a radio interview.
    ("I really need to work and earn a living for my family. My family is depending on me.")

    The 28-year-old bowler also admitted he had not trained since his breakthrough performance in Busan.

    "Nakakalungkot din pong isipin pero talaga pong hindi ako makakapaglaro sa Asian Games. Masyado pong demanding ang aking trabaho at hindi po ako makakapag-ensayo nang husto," Bautista said.
    ("It's sad to think that I will not be able to play in the Asian Games. My work is very demanding and I would not have enough time to practice.")

    The pair of Bautista and Nepomuceno gave the country its first gold by winning the doubles event.

    Based on the criteria set by the Asian Games Task Force and approved by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Bautista and Nepomuceno are already qualified to compete in the quadrennial event.