Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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PH ready to host 30th SEA Games - POC

Everything is, indeed, well within the Philippine Olympic Committee ranks.

This POC president Abraham ?Bambol? Tolentino and members of what was supposed to be warring factions in the country?s ruling body in sports appeared together in the inaugural episode of the revived SCOOP (Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines) forum Friday at the Manila Times Television.

Joining Tolentino, a Congressman representing the seventh district of Cavite in the Lower House, were chairman Steven Hontiveros, one of the longest-serving officials of the POC, and lawyer Clint Aranas, head of the local archery federation.

All three told co-hosts, former Senator Nikki Coseteng and this writer, that they attended the week?s session to assure everybody that they have set aside whatever misunderstandings that existed before to pave the way for a smooth and successful conduct of the 30th Southeast Asian Games the county is hosting later this year.

?If the primary concern of the SEA Games, is to provide our youth to improve their athletic skills through friendly competitions, who are we in the POC to stand on the way of this noble endeavour,? Tolention said.

?They said that in the SEA Games, among others, it?s friendship first before competitions, bakit naman tayong host and mag-away-away?? he remarked.

?Our presence here in the SCOOP forum should, likewise, serve as an assurance to our friends, not only in the region but also in the whole of Asia and the entire Olympic Games community that the SEA Games will push through as scheduled, contrary to what was reported earlier,? Hontiveros, head of the handball federation assured.

?May mga naging problema on the way, but rest assured, too, that the coming Games will be as successful as in our past three hosting of the biennial meet,? Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros was referring to the 1981 Games the country's first hosted and the 1991 and 2005 editions of the biennial conclave that saw the Philippines won its first overall championship.

?And don?t forget, may we also assured all our would?be guests ? athletes, coaches, delegation officials as well as visitors- that they will experience, as in the past, our people?s world renowned hospitality,? Aranas, interjected.

Starting late this month or early September, the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) will be providing all the needed notices proclaiming the country as host of the Games.

Like posters to be posted in key places of competition hubs ? Clark, Subic, Metro Manila ? and several more cities in Laguna, Batangas and Cavite.

Construction of new competition venues in Clark and
Subic and rehabilitation of existing ones are almost complete and will be ready for use three to two weeks before the opening ceremonies on November 30 at the Philippine arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Tolentino said that the 2019 Games, spread until December 11, is most notable in the sense that it is the first time that e-sports and obstacle course are included in the calendar of events.

?This Games will also be having the highest number of sports in the history, at 56, but we can also pride ourselves at having the biggest closed door opening ceremony at the 50,000 plus seat Philippine Arena,? Tolentino averred.

?And most importantly, our athletes will be ready to battle against their counterparts from the other 10 member countries to at least improve on our seventh place finish the last time around two years ago,? the POC dead said.

?The Philippine Sports Commission is making sure of that,? he said.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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