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Blatche ready to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas

Saturday, 29 April 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

Andray Blatche formally declared his readiness to power Gilas Pilipinas in the 12th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship for Men on May 12 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After taking his sweet time, the 6-foot-11 former Brooklyn Nets star broke his silence, saying that he is ready to see action in the tournament that serves as qualifier for the 2017 International Basketball Federation (Fiba) Asia Cup in Beirut this August.
He is expected to arrive either May 1 or 2.
“Mga Kababayan! I am so excited to be back and win for my fellow Filipinos,” said the naturalized player, who steered the country to its return to the Fiba World Championship in 2014 after nearly four decades.
“Please come and see us all play at Seaba. Laban! Puso!”
Blatches’s pronouncement is a major development in Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the prestigious tourney, especially with head coach Chot Reyes admitting that the rest of the region have caught up with the Philippines.
Reyes said he wants to focus his full attention on Seaba before thinking of how to dominate Fiba Asia Cup, which serves as the gateway to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“We want to focus our full attention on Seaba,” he said. “Fiba Asia doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t win in Seaba. We want to make sure that our full concentration is on Seaba before worrying about Fiba Asia Cup.”
Reyes is expected to announce his 12-man roster any time soon after seeing how they fared against seasoned stars of the Philippine Basketball Association in the All-Star game in Cagayan de Oro and Lucena City.
Sources said he is leaning towards giving the first nine slots to Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan and Allein Maliksi.
With that, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, RR Pogoy, Ed Daquioag, Brad Guinto, Fonso Gotladera, Norbert Torres, Arnold Van Opstal, LA Revilla, Jonathan Grey, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, Carl Bryan Cruz and Almond Vosotros will be left battling for the final three slots.

Duterte to name SEAG team chief soon

Friday, 28 April 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

The country’s preparation for its hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games is expected to be in full swing when President Rodrigo Duterte formally announces his choice as chief of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Organizing Committee next week.

A reliable source said the Chief Executive already has two names in mind, but refused to identify them pending the staging of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit this weekend when Duterte and his cabinet will host the delegates from 10 other Southeast Asian countries.
At the same time, Duterte has yet to formally talk to the two officials about the task of making sure that the country’s hosting of the biennial meet in 2019 would be trouble-free.
The source added that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was the first choice, but he declined to focus on running the day-to-day affairs in Malacañang.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose Cojuangco also reportedly broached the name of Council of Philippine Affairs secretary general Pastor “Boy” Saycon before Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) William “Butch” Ramirez requested the President to name his choices.
Ramirez, Cojuangco and other members of the PSC board of commissioners shook hands with Duterte during the opening day of Palarong Pambansa in San Jose, Antique over the weekend.
It, however, is not clear whether the country’s SEA Games hosting was tackled.
“The President is considering two names to head the SEA Games Organizing Committee,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But no names have been mentioned as the President wants to make sure that these individuals will accept the responsibility before making the announcement.”
Tribune tried, but Ramirez couldn’t be reached for comment.
Serving as chairman of the SEA Games Organizing Committee is a major responsibility, especially when it comes to raising and disbursing private and government monies.
When the country last hosted the SEA Games in 2005, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 872 that authorized the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Philsoc) to launch a nationwide fund-raising campaign for the country’s hosting of the 23rd edition of the Games.
Former Bulacan governor and Tourism Secretary Roberto Pagdanganan was tapped as Philsoc chairman before giving way to Cojuangco, who was just elected as successor of Celso Dayrit as POC chief.
The country’s hosting was a resounding success as the Philippines captured the overall title with 113 gold, 84 silver and 94 bronze medals.

Carrion sees big field for SEA Games

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

Chief of mission Cynthia Carrion yesterday declared the country’s preparation for the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on track despite the failure of three national sports associations (NSAs) to submit their respective entries.
Carrion, the gymnastics president and a member of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) executive board, said all entries are already in except that from ice skating, badminton and weighlifting.
Ice skating is expected to field Sochi Olympics veteran Michael Martinez while another world-class talent in Nestor Colonia is tipped to banner the country in weightlifting, which dropped all women’s events.
Things, however, looked gloomy for Martinez as a Malaysian skater in Julien Yee outdueled him in the final standing of the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan last February.
On the same note, Colonia is said to be hoping to settle for a silver medal following a strong campaign in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year.
Carrion said she would wait for the entries of the three NSAs until Tuesday in which they would formally start sitting down with the NSAs to discuss their respective entries by name.
“Aside from the three NSAs, all entries (by number) are already in,” said Carrion, who was tasked by POC president Jose Cojuangco to spearhead the country’s preparation and campaign in the biennial meet this August in Kuala Lumpur.
“We already have a good idea about the size of our delegation. So far, so good. Our preparation for the SEA Games is right on track.”
A total of 540 athletes are tipped to banner the country in the region’s biggest athletic conclave. They will be joined by 180 coaches, trainers, officials and other team members to jack up the final number of delegates to around 720.
But Carrion said having a bigger delegation is just normal for the meet.
“Compared to other staging of the SEA Games, we have a lot of team sports this time,” she said.

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