Alkhaldi, Gebbie banner PH aquatics team to SEAG

Jasmine Alkhaldi and Luke Gebbie 

Olympians Jasmine Alkhaldi and Luke Gebbie banner the 16-player Philippine aquatics team that will see action in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam this May.

Philippine Swimming Inc. President Lani Velasco released the lineup recently as the team hopes to improve its previous showing of one gold, six silver and nine bronzes in the 2019 edition held in New Clark City, Tarlac.

Gebbie, who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will join the men’s cast composed of Jonathan Cook, Adrian Eichler, Jerard Jacinto, Jean-Pierre Khouzam, Donovan Lahmann and Jaden Olson.

Interestingly, James Deiparine, who won one gold and one silver medal in the last edition, will not be competing this time.

“Unfortunately, there are circumstances that have made it difficult for him to defend his title this coming SEAG,” said Velasco, referring to Deiparine’s Games-record golden triumph in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke.

“We all know that the global pandemic has affected us in different ways... We hope to still see Jimmy (Deiparine) compete in the future.”

Joining two-time Olympian Alkhaldi in the women’s team, meanwhile, are Xiandi Chua, Kirsten Daos, Thanya Dela Cruz, Jessica Geriane, Chloe Isleta, Desirae Mangaoang and Miranda Renner.

The team will also have Ariana Drake competing in the women’s diving.

The diving events are scheduled May 8 to 11 while the swimming competition is set May 14 to 19.