By REY LACHICA
HANGZHOU, China – There’s no surrender as far as Gilas case is concerned as Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino will continue to push for the inclusion of the four players no matter what it takes.
“We will push it a thousand times. We’ll push it every minute. Every time they will deny, we will appeal,” said Tolentino after the flag-raising ceremony.
That means the quartet of Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Mo Tautuaa and Jason Perkins still has slim hopes of making it to the team now handled by multi-titled Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
In an effort to fill the void after the team’s request was initially thumbed down by the organizing committee, Cone hastilly called the services of Kevin Alas, CJ Perez, Arvin Tolentino and Chris Ross. Marcio Lassiter got also a call up to replace an injured Roger Pogoy.
Problem for Cone is that the team is scheduled to face a Korean club team Friday, Sept. 22.
Well, that’s another headache for Cone who seems to be carrying the weight of the nation on his shoulders.
“Lahat ng dapat gagawin ay gagawin namin para makatulong sa Gilas,” said Tolentino.
After the flag-raising ceremony, Tolentino is looking for a warm hosting and weeks of great action and camaraderie, saying sports is a great unifying factor.
Pole vault ace EJ Obiena and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, meantime, will be joined by 80 Filipino athletes during the traditional parade of athletes in Saturday’s eloborate opening rites of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium here.
This was disclosed by Deputy Chef de Mission Karen Tanchanco Caballero although they are still finalizing the list of athletes to join one of the highlights of what is trumpeted to be the biggest in the history of the Games.
“We are in the process of ensuring lang na nakapasok na po lahat ng mga NSAs na walang laro the following day (on the 24th). Yun po kasi ang policy ni (POC) President Tolentino para hindi madistract ang ating koponan, yung mga wala pang competition ang sasali sa opening ceremony” Caballero said.
Expected to join Obiena and Didal are fellow Olympians in boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richard Bachmann and Chief de Mission Richard Gomez.
Also in the initial list are some members of shooting and swimming teams.
The Nationals are entered in 37 of the 40 sports, hoping to surpass the country’s 4 gold, 2 silver and 15 silver medals won during the Palenbang, Indonesia Games.
A pall of gloom descended early on Team PH after rowers Feiza Lenton and Tammy Sha failed to get past the repechage stage on Thursday at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre.
So overpowering were their rivals that the Filipinos crossed finish line almost 25 seconds later in the lightweight double sculls topped by Uzbekistan.
Edgar Ilas and Zuriel Sumintac nearly made it to the final round but they lost steam in the crucial stretch in the face of their rivals’ superiority and ended third with a time of 7:10.97, 15.19 seconds off top placer India.
Only the top two pairs in the repechage earned tickets to the Final A on Sunday.