POC ready to send 'fighting team' for 31st SEA Games

Published February 28, 2022, 2:54 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Thirty-nine national sports associations have already submitted their tentative rosters for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May, according to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

(MB File Photo)

The Philippine team will be competing in 39 out of the 40 sports prepared by host country Vietnam, leaving out the sport of xiangqi (Chinese or elephant chess).

Despite a significant decrease in delegation when the Philippines hosted the 2019 edition, POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino is expecting a “fighting team” that will wage war in Hanoi.

“Comparing the numbers when we hosted the Games in 2019, we’ll have a delegation that’s slashed almost in half from three years ago. And a quick look at the numbers show we’ll be hard-pressed to repeat as overall champions,” said Tolentino.

“But we’ll have a fighting team in Vietnam, setting aside the difficulties of training and competing or training overseas because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Philippine delegation is set to participate in 44 disciplines overall but the POC has yet to receive a tentative list from NSAs of athletics, men’s 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, weightlifting, and jiu-jitsu.

The deadline set for the submission of entries is on March 12 as around 874 individuals are projected to complete the Philippine delegation.

About 177 teams officials and 20 medical and administrative staff are also included.

The Philippine team will be competing in diving, swimming, finswimming, archery, athletics, badminton, 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, billiards and snooker, bodybuilding, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesports, esports, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics (artistic, aerobic and rhythmic), beach handball, judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay thai, pencak silat, rowing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon/duathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball, vovinam (Vietnamese martial arts), weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.

“Several NSAs were allowed to submit tentative lists because they’re still completing their final qualifications or trials,” added Tolentino.