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159 bets to Asean meet

A total of 159 Philippine athletes will compete in the 2017 Asean School Games from July 13 to 21 in Singapore.

Department of Education assistant secretary Tonisito Umali said the athletes will come from the top performers in the recent Palarong Pambansa in San Jose, Antique.

Umali is confident the country can surpass its best placing of fourth place in 2014 where the Philippines wound up with 11 golds, 14 silvers, and 22 bronzes. The placing was behind first placer Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Umali said the creation of the K-12 program in the Philippines has given the country a deep pool of talent for the ASEAN School Games.

“Dahil basic education at hindi pa tayo K-12, medyo bata pa ang ating mga manlalaro na nanalo. Pero ngayon, may Grade 11 to 12, doon pa lang, nakakapantay na tayo sa edad ng maglalaro,” said Umali during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel.