Football, Netball, Water polo bets open PH bid
KUALA LUMPUR—Some members of Team Philippines are already here with athletes from three sports serving as advance party in the 29th Southeast Asian Games which formally starts Saturday.
Competitions in netball and football will usher in action on Monday, almost a full week before the opening ceremony at National Stadium at KL Sports City in Bukit Jalil.
The men’s football team, already with one practice session after arriving on Friday, will see action on Tuesday against Cambodia at 8:45 p.m. at Selangor Stadium.
The women’s side will take on host Malaysia on the same time and date at UITM Stadium.
Women’s netball will embark on its quest to finally score a win in the biennial games when the Filipinos clash with the Thais at 3 p.m. at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.
The men’s water polo team, which is hoping to duplicate if not surpass its silver medal finish in the 2009 Laos Games, will
challenge Thailand at 11 a.m. at National Aquatics Center.
PSC chair not coming
Meanwhile, Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez will skip the Games, the first time for a top government sports czar in a recent memory.
Ramirez said via text message that he prefers to stay in Manila to attend the congressional hearings on sports policies.
After all, according to him, the SEA Games—like the Olympics and Asian Games—is an “NSA (national sports associations) affair,” and won’t demand the presence of the government’s sports minister.
During multisports event, it’s usually the National Olympic Committee heads who run the show.
The PSC chief, instead, is sending commissioners Charles Maxey and Arnold Agustin “to maintain professionalism, and clarity of partnership and stick to directions where we are going.”
Nevertheless, Ramirez has approved P300 million for the total budget of Team Philippines, the biggest ever by the agency for the biennial meet.
Also part of Team Philippines is the 25-man medical personnel tasked to supervise some 490 athletes seeing action in 38 sports events.
Dr. Pilar Villanueva said they have set up two clinics at Sunway Putra Hotel where the Team Philippines secretariat is billeted.
She said they are still planning to put up satellite clinics to oversee the health demands of the national athletes better.
“So far we only have cases of colds and coughs, nothing major,” said Villanueva. “But we are following up on athletes who are recuperating from injuries as well.”
Included in the joint medical staff are six doctors, composed of orthopaedics and family physicians, three sports psychologists, one chiropractor, two nurses, two sportomics, one ophthalmologist, 14 physiotherapist and nine masseurs.
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