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Sport officials set aside differences as pep rally kicks off countdown to SEA Games

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 07:27 PM March 27, 2019

(From left-right) POC board member Jonne Go, chef de mission Monsour del Rosario, Mike Barredo of Philspada, Phisgoc chairman Alan Peter Cayetano and PSC chairman Butch Ramirez. Photo by June Navarro

MANILA, Philippines–All it took was one big gathering of athletes designed to reclaim the overall title in the coming Southeast Asian Games for the country’s top sports officials to set their differences aside.

In a genuine show of solidarity, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission joined hands with the Philippine Olympic Committee on Tuesday night during the GoPilipinasGo pep rally.

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Phisgoc chair Alan Peter Cayetano attended the rare assembly of over 1,300 national athletes and coaches from various sports at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Field and rallied them to aim for no less than the overall championship in the SEA Games.

“We have two objectives. No. 1 is we need to win and we know that we have to work harder to give you whatever you need in training and competition,’’ Cayetano told the athletes.

“Secondly, we want the 10 other countries to say na iba talaga mag-host ang Pinoy,’’ added the former senator and foreign affairs secretary.

The Philippines will host the biennial sportsfest for the fourth time on Nov. 30-Dec. 11 with the triumvirate of the PSC, POC and Phisgoc expected to fuel the success of the Games. Filipino athletes secured the SEAG overall title for the first time when the country played host in 2005.

Cayateno was joined by PSC chair Butch Ramirez, POC board member Jonne Go, chef de mission Monsour del Rosario and Philspada chief Mike Barredo on stage and released white doves in a symbolic gesture of unity.

“It’s a humbling experience for myself, for chairman Butch, and for everyone here on stage because you the athletes continue to teach us a lot,” said Cayetano.

“It’s easy to say win as one, but there’s a lot of hard work that we should put into winning as one,’’ added Cayetano.

Hall of Famer Bong Coo of bowling, Olympic bronze medalist Stephen Fernandez of taekwondo and Asian Games champion Willy Wang of wushu provided inspiration and words of wisdom for the athletes to keep in mind in their quest for excellence and victory.

Athletes Commission chairman Nikko Huelgas, a back-to-back SEAG gold medalist in men’s triathlon and Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz also pushed their fellow athletes to do their best, both in training and in competition.

News and features about 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30. Visit http://inq.news/seagames.

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TAGS: Go Pilipinas Go, Philippines, SEA Games, Sports
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