2019: Wishing for a few sports gifts
Sports has been repeatedly referred to as peaceful, organized warfare among nations. While the world’s powers presently continue to try to avoid dropping bombs on each other, sports have become a natural avenue to exert dominance or superiority over other nations.
It can get heated and political at times, but sports are a more peaceful way to settle differences.
It’s safe to say that the Philippines’ participation is not meant to totally dominate sports in the world or even the Asian region. We’d like to think that winning the overall title in the Southeast Games in November is extremely important but the current strengths of our opponents will make this difficult. A higher finish compared to previous games will be more than enough.
What we’re really looking for in 2019 is hope that things will turn for the better for Philippine sports. We crave for more than just gold medals in the SEA Games but for performances that are worthy of Asian if not Olympic standards.
We also hope for a successful hosting of the Games and to overcome the financial and logistical challenges. Our objective should be to come together as a country to be excellent hosts at all competition venues and everywhere else.
We look ahead to a good year for Filipino athletes. We pray that Manny Pacquiao and a handful of current Filipino boxing champions continue to defend their crowns in the coming year.
We hope that the Gilas basketball team gets through to the World Championship in China, even if the windows of entry have somehow decreased in size. We hope the Philippine Azkals come up with memorable performances even with the strong opposition in the Asian Cup.
Whether they win or lose, there is really no need for athletes, officials or teams to proclaim that they fought for the country (Lumaban po para sa bayan is the default interview phrase). It is a given that the athletes wear the flag on their uniforms for that purpose.
A new year brings hope, a wish and a prayer that we get a healthy helping of Philippine sports glory.
Happy New Year all!