by Nick Giongco
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is keeping its fingers crossed that the 773-strong Philippine delegation to the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Malaysia delivers and improves on the country’s sixth-place finish two years ago.
While declining to issue a medal projection, PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said yesterday that the agency has given its full support to the national athletes for the Aug. 19-30 biennial sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur.
“The chief of mission (Cynthia Carrion) feels we can bring home as much as 50 golds and we are just hoping that we achieve that goal,” said Ramirez.
The PSC has allocated R87 million for the actual participation alone with the bulk of the money going to board and lodging.
Ramirez said that it is paramount that the athletes live up to their inclusion to the event since public funds are being used to fund their campaign.
“An improvement from our last participation will be greatly appreciated,” said Ramirez, noting that it would be sad if the Philippines remains at sixth spot, the same finish in Singapore in 2015.
There will be over 400 events on tap and the Philippines will see action in 37 out of 38 sports in the calendar.
Hopes are high in athletics and boxing but basketball – men and women – are also being touted as gold medal sources although only they are worth just one gold each.
Swimming dangles 60 but the Philippines will be fortunate to even win one.
The host is being tipped to win the overall crown and regional titlist Thailand and Vietnam will be up there to challenge the Malaysians.
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