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Training camp in Zambales

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The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will propose to national sports associations a site in Iba, Zambales, that can serve not only as a training camp but a venue for team-building in the runup to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.

POC first VP Joey Romasanta said the provincial government of Zambales is willing to host national athletes and coaches who are preparing for the Aug. 19-31 sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur.

“This is the instruction to us of POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. as we get ready for the 2017 SEAG,” said Romasanta, noting that Cojuangco met with the POC inner circle before leaving for a vacation overseas.

Malaysia is staging more than 400 events in 38 sports with the Philippines aiming to make a dent in the leaderboard following a string of lackluster placings the last ten years.

Romasanta said NSAs that will allow their athletes to camp out in Zambales won’t have to worry about anything as the POC will take charge of everything in coordination with the province.

“But the first thing we’ll do is bring the NSA leaders to Zambales for an ocular inspection,” said Romasanta.

After winning the overall crown for the first time in 2005 when the Philippines was the host, the performance dropped dramatically and in 2013 in Myanmar, the country sank to a worst-ever seventh.

Like the POC, the Philippine Sports Commission is also hellbent in upgrading the SEAG showing.

PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez is also urging the athletes to step up to the plate as the agency plans to improve their living and training conditions.

“We are willing to give and provide their needs but they have to deliver as the PSC is answerable to the people as we are spending government funds.”

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