Garcia says Pinoy athletes face prospects of finishing seventh
By: Bong Pedralvez (Malaya)
SAYING competing in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games would be like playing with a “loaded dice,” Philippine Sports Commission chief Richie Garcia yesterday said the country would finish no better than seventh overall in the meet, if not worse.
“We will be lucky to finish seventh, if not worse, if our performance is bad. It’s like playing with a loaded dice,” said Garcia, pointing out the Burmese wound up seventh in the 2011 Indonesia Games “and are sure to surpass us on their home turf. Whatever we do, hanggang dito na lang tayo.”
Filipino bets plunged to an all-time low in the games when they finished sixth overall in Indonesia with a meager haul of 36 gold, 56 silver and 77 bronze medals.
With Myanmar scrapping events like bowling, fin swimming, tennis, bridge and rowing, that accounting for eight Philippine gold medals in Indonesia,
Garcia said it would better for the country to field a small contingent “because we know more or less what the outcome will be.”
Based on the PSC’s research “we lost a potential of 16 golds while 60 was added to the Myanmar gold-medal prospects,” he said.
“We are working on the premise that we do not like what Myanmar has done. So that if we send a small delegation, then nobody will blame us if we don’t win as many golds. Nobody will be talking about debacles. No one will be blamed,” the PSC honcho said.
National team chief of mission Col. Jeff Tamayo said he would stick to the policy of sending only “the best of the best,” as the POC-PSC SEA Games Task Force began screening the athletes for the Games yesterday.
“My commitment to chairman Garcia is that once we have finished our evaluation, we will be endorsing ‘the best of the best’ or the athletes who have biggest potential of winning golds in Myamar,” Tamayo said.
He added it would be easier to evaluate measurable sports such as athletics and swimming “but we will insist on at least ‘Asian level’ performance for the rest of the disciplines.”