POC, PSC get pedals rotating for Cambodia SEAG–Tolentino

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A FIRST-TIME meet between Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and newly-appointed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) brass happened Wednesday night to get the pedals circling for the country’s preparations for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

“It was a fellowship and working dinner meeting that delved more on the training of the SEA Games-bound athletes,” said POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also head of the cycling association PhilCycling.

“There, too, were discussions on equipment that would be handed over to national sports associations and even local government units,” Tolentino added.

But issues on the late transmission of technical handbooks (THBs) on the 49 sports that Cambodia has programmed for the May 5 to 17 Games are hampering preparations that Tolentino described as “already late in the day.”

“The THBs were issued only days ago and most of them contain some errors, mistakes the host organizer has apologized for,” Tolentino said.

The Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee, or Camsoc, set a deadline for the entry by numbers last Saturday, but according to Tolentino, revisions had to be made on Team Philippines’s entry.

PSC Chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann met with Tolentino for the second time since his appointment last December 28 and brought with him commissioners Walter Torres and Olivia “Bong” Coo to the dinner at the Barcino of the Maison Mall at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. Absent was commissioner Edward Hayco.

With Tolentino were POC auditor and Team Philippines chef de mission to Cambodia Chito Loyzaga, chairman Steve Hontiveros, secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes, treasurer Cynthia Carrion-Norton and Athletes Commission head Nikko Huelgas.

The fellowship-cum-working dinner between the POC and PSC precedes a meeting late yesterday (Thursday) among members of Loyzaga’s team and the secretariat ahead of only the first Chef de Mission Meeting that Camsoc set for January 24 and 25 in Phnom Penh, main hub of the Games.

Loyzaga has earlier stared at an 800-athlete Team Philippines and a total delegation of 1,200—counting the coaches, medical and administrative staff.

The PSC, on the other hand, has allocated from general appropriations a P250 million budget for Cambodia, which is hosting 608 events in 49 sports, far bigger than the 530 events in 56 sports in the 2019 edition the Philippines hosted and the 526 events in 40 sports in Vietnam last year.

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