By CARLO ANOLIN
It’s going to be a fighting team.
That’s what Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino described the PH delegation to the Hanoi SEA Games this May.
Though the PH team will be hard-pressed to repeat as overall champion just like when the country hosted the event in 2019, Tolentino declared the PH team will be a fighting one.
He said this Monday after 39 national sports associations submitted their tentative rosters for 39 of 40 sports prepared by host country Vietnam, leaving out the sport of xiangqi (Chinese or elephant chess).
“Comparing the numbers when we hosted the Games in 2019, we’ll have a delegation that’s slashed almost in half from three years ago. And a quick look at the numbers show we’ll be hard-pressed to repeat as overall champions,” said Tolentino.
“But we’ll have a fighting team in Vietnam, setting aside the difficulties of training and competing or training overseas because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Philippine delegation is set to participate in 44 disciplines overall but the POC has yet to receive a tentative list from NSAs of athletics, men’s 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, weightlifting, and jiu-jitsu.
The deadline set for the submission of entries is on March 12 as around 874 individuals are projected to complete the Philippine delegation.
About 177 team officials and 20 medical and administrative staff are also included.
The Philippine team will be competing in diving, swimming, finswimming, archery, athletics, badminton, 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, billiards and snooker, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesports, esports, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics (artistic, aerobic and rhythmic), beach handball, judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay thai, pencak silat, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon/duathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball, vovinam (Vietnamese martial arts), weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
“Several NSAs were allowed to submit tentative lists because they’re still completing their final qualifications or trials,” added Tolentino.