PATAFA Ignored Recommendation EJ Obiena 2014 Asian Games

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PATAFA Ignored my Recommendation for EJ Obiena 2014 Asian Games and Several other athletes PSC Files

Attached is a copy and paste from a 2014 Letter. That I provided that EJ Obiena should be selected for the Asian Games in 2014 and furnished to PATAFA via the Philippines Sports Commission. Obiena, Griffey, and others were left out of the final lineup by PATAFA. At this stage, I was the consultant and research assistant to Jolly Gomez the commissioner in charge of Athletics.

-Enzo Williams Co-Founder PinoyAthletics Former PSC Research Assistant.


In regards to the Asian Games athletics

We have eight SEA Gold medalists who are registered with the team. I have attached a data sheet with the athletes who have met the top five criteria.

The Taskforce had set a criterion of Gold Medalist or Top five which they presented to all the NSA back in April of 2014. I will try and obtain a copy of this page the Taskforce gave me a copy which they had also issued to the PATAFA admin.

As well as the eight athletes being sent to the Asian Games others had met the criterion.


Marestella Torres

The highest chance of these is Marestella Torres. Marestella had just given birth in January and managed to get back to her first competition in June at the Hong Kong Open where she cleared 6.25w and 6.15.

At the Vietnam Open, she leaped 6.14m in July. On August 9 at the POC Trials, Marestella jumping solo leaped 6.17m. Then on August 24 in Singapore, she had a tremendous improvement leaping 6.34m and 6.45w.

In 15 days, her performance increased by 17cm. So with 3 weeks to go until the Asian Games, she can add 20cm onto her jump which gives her around 6.54m or 6.65w.

This makes Marestella a definite medal candidate and has a high chance at a gold medal.

2010 Asian Games G-S-B being 6.53, 6.50, 6.49

2011 Asian Championships 6.56, 6.53, 6.51

2013 Asian Championships 6.55, 6.36, 6.30


As a young athlete, Marestella was always someone I admired for her hard work ethic and positive love for the sport. She is in very capable hands with Jim Lafferty who I find is one of the most passionate people I have ever met when it comes to Track and Field.


Ernest John Obiena

Obiena who is still technically a junior athlete will turn 19 in December. The recent Singapore Open on August 24 again improved his national record to 5.20m. Which is good for the top 5 finish in Asian Games. After being sent to Italy to train for 3 months through the IAAF Ernest Obiena.

Broke the 22-year-old national record of 3x SEA Games champion and Olympian Edward Lasquette.

At the PATAFA Weekly Relays EJ cleared 5.01m, then the following week he improved this again to 5.05m, 2 weeks later he cleared 5.06, 5.10, and 5.15 on the same day. Before his recent improvement in Singapore.

Ernest John Obiena is #1 in South East Asia right now, and we believe he is a strong chance to regain the gold medal for the Philippines in the Pole Vault. He has come a long way from the 4.90m 4th place he got last year at his first-ever SEA Games.

Emerson advised me he had endorsed him to the PATAFA but his name wasn’t forwarded in the final selection as they preferred to nominate Gold and Silver, medalists.

I have been a long-time family friend of the Obienas. As Emerson looked after me when I was a young athlete making my way into the world. I have had the pleasure of watching EJ as a 6-year-old boy grows into the very talented and well-mannered young man he is today. He inherited more than just his dad’s good pole vault skills.


Princess Joy Griffey

The Country’s #2 fastest woman ever after De Vega with best times of 11.58 and 23.93 and the Philippine Junior Record Holder at 11.75. She came off two years of retirement due to getting over Vertigo. She came back with 12.10 to get 4th at the Thai Open just missing out on the SEA Games 2013. However, she cemented her season with 11.62 (just .04 off her lifetime best) and at 27 years of age broke her PB from 2009 (24.00) with a 23.93 clocking.

The times of 11.62 and 23.93 are good for the top 5 finishes at the Asian Games level. An experienced sprinter who went through the USA NCAA College system Griffey would be more than ready to take on Asia’s best.

Griffey has always self-funded herself to the 2011 PNG, 2013 Thailand Open, and again to the 2014 PNG. What keeps Griffey going despite all the hardships she has endured is she follows the path of her mother who is the late Leah Nolido who ran for the Philippines as a Junior.

One of my proudest moments was seeing Griffey win the National titles this year in the Women’s 100 and 200m it was fitting that such a great athlete finally earn those titles.

Having faced a lot of obstacles in her life. It was myself and her coach Aaron Blake that were the motivating factors even when she was in retirement. Even though several others closed the doors on her. And eventually helped lead to her return to the sport in late 2013.

Was not endorsed by PATAFA however. I had presented an eleven-page endorsement report to the PATAFA admin which I had cc’d. to Mr. James Lafferty.


Narcissa Atienza

At 35 and the oldest female on the team, Nars has to be admired for her durability. The PATAFA was rightly so in recommending her but she was declined by the task force. Nars is the SEA Games silver medalist and has won multiple medals at the SEA Games.  She had made the Asian Games top 5. I’m unsure as to why Nars was excluded from selection as out of the three silver medalists (also Arniel and Guarte) she was the highest ranked.

Despite having had differences with Coach Hamero in the past. I am a firm believer in the fair selection and I feel we should judge the athletes on their performances, and give credit where credit is due to those helping them.


Riezel Buenaventura

Another athlete of Coach Emerson, after placing a close 4th at her first SEA Games in 2011. Finally got a SEA Games medal of Bronze in 2013 in the Women’s Pole Vault.  Also noted has made 1 of 3 qualifications based on the last three Major championships.  Was not endorsed by PATAFA but recommended by Coach Emerson Obiena.





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