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Butch: Quality, not quantity in SEAG

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) wants national sports associations (NSAs) that are sending athletes to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia to toe the line.

In line with the country’s focus in sending just medal contenders to the Aug. 19-31 sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur, PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said yesterday that participating in the biennial event is not a contest who among the 11 nations can come up with the biggest number of athletes.

“Hindi ito paramihan ng atleta,” Ramirez after presiding over a meeting that spawned the creation of a joint task fore involving the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) at the Philsports in Pasig.

Ramirez met with high-ranking officials from the POC led by Tom Carrasco so they can chart the country’s buildup for the 29th SEAG.

“We only have seven months and we need to put everything in place,” said Ramirez.

Kuala Lumpur is dangling 40 events in 38 sports and Ramirez feels that the time has come for the Philippines to stop sending a bloated delegation to the event.

“I am dead-serious about this matter and we at the PSC mean business,” said Ramirez, saying he simply won’t stand seeing undeserving athletes being given the go-signal to take part in Malaysia.

“It would look bad if we send a big delegation and we end up placing sixth or seventh,” said Ramirez.

Thailand is the top favorite to run away with the overall crown but host Malaysia should pose problems as it is hellbent in taking the most number of gold medals.

Apart from the two, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore are also right up there to slug it out for the third to fifth spots.

Meanwhile, Carrasco aid the POC is ready to submit to Malaysia the entry-by-numbers list tomorrow as only a handful of NSAs have yet to submit names.

“We have more than 30 NSAs that have submitted and the number of athletes has reached over 500,” said Carrasco.

As in the past, the POC will look into the qualifications of each but Ramirez stressed that the PSC will flex its muscles.

In the last Seag in Singapore, the Philippines placed sixth.

The only time the Philippines won the overall crown was in 2005 when it was the host and following that, the performance stagnated and worsened when it dropped to seventh during the 2013 edition in Myanmar.