Second overall can’t be an option | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Second overall can’t be an option

/ 05:30 AM March 28, 2019

No need to worry. The Philippine hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will definitely push through.

The 30th SEA Games will be staged in the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

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This assurance comes late. The pointless proposal for a withdrawal (from the hosting) had been beaten and quelled ahead.

There was some turmoil, as expected. But the next time a big announcement came from the national organizing committee, it was to invite all interested parties to the pep rally slated at historic Rizal Memorial Baseball Field starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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The grand gathering was meant to drumbeat newfound unity among the major players in the Philippine hosting.

“It would be the best time for top sports honchos to show to athletes and the public that they can unite for the country’s sake,” noted sports columnist Randy Caluag.

So what happened on Tuesday?

“Sir, the highlight of the pep rally was the show of solidarity between Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano and Philippine Sports Commission chief Butch Ramirez,” reported Inquirer man June Navarro.

What do you mean?

“It dispelled rumors that they were at odds.”

How was the attendance?

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“There were 1,300 national athletes and coaches from various sports. Almost 1,600 ang tao, including guests.”

Did Lydia de Vega make it?

“No, she was in Singapore, where she’s now based, but there were former national standouts led by bowling queen Bong Coo.”

It’s odd but, for quite a time, the main hosts got stalled guessing the exact budget that would be allowed.

“Despite the budget cuts and various challenges confronting the Philippine hosting, we are unfazed and determined to pursue our task and responsibility given us by President Rodrigo Duterte,” declared Cayetano.

Before that, Cayetano was quoted as saying this year’s hosting, the fourth for the Philippines, would be the grandest and most successful.

White doves were released by prominent sports personalities led by Cayetano and Ramirez. POC president Ricky Vargas, who has been batting for this show of solidarity since Day One, was abroad on a mission.

With the propitious setup expect the best showing ever by the Philippines in the biennial regional Games.

A second overall finish cannot be an option.

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