Bowling heroes Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo will be enshrined in the 2018 Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night at the PICC along with track and field icon Lydia de Vega-Mercado.

Nepomuceno won the World Cup of Bowling four times and became a recipient of the International Olympic Committee President’s Trophy in 1999, the highest sports award given by the IOC.

Coo, on the other hand, is the most decorated athlete in any sport, ruling the world championship four times apart from winning 78 medals and 137 championship titles for the national team in a career that spanned 28 years.

De Vega-Mercado, hailed as the fastest woman in Asia during the 80s, won four gold medals in the Asian championships during her prime and captured the gold medal in the 100m dash twice in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.

Joining them in this batch of Hall of Famers are Josephine dela Vina (track and field), former Senator Ambrosio Padilla and Loreto Carbonell (basketball), Filomeno “Boy’’ Codinera Jr. (baseball and softball), Lita dela Rosa (bowling), Erbito Salavarria (boxing) and Ben Arda (golf)

Philippine Olympic Committee communications director Ed Picson represented the local Olympic body during the deliberations of the screening committee headed by Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez.

Philippine Olympian Association president Akiko Thomson-Guevarra, Games and Amusement Board representative Dioscoro Bautista Jr., national sports association representatives Bernardo Atienza (basketball) and Pearl Managuelod (muay) and Philippine Sportswriters Association president Eduardo Catacutan also formed part of the screening committee.

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