227 athletes join RP Team to Asiad
MARATHONER Eduardo Buenavista and Laos SEA Games heroin Joan Banayag led 40 more additional athletes to Team Philippines bound for Guangzhou, China.
Buenavista, a veteran internationalist and Banayag, who claimed the women’s gold in dramatic fashioned joined late entry athletes recommended by the screening committee to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Executive Board.
Counting the initial approved of 160, the number of athletes reached to 227
Several national sports associations heads, as expected, scrutinized the decision of the screening group led by Asian Games Chief of Mission Joey Romasanta but POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco defended the action taken by the committee.
“We formed the screening committee, so we have to respect their decision,” said Cojuangco, who presided the expanded Execom Board meeting yesterday.
“If some of you wants to send more athletes make sure kayo ang mananagot sa mga ‘yan pag pinulot lang sa kangkugan,” added Cojuangco.
The screening committee used the SEA Games gold, Asian level performance and developmental aspect as criteria for the selection of athletes to the team.
“It’s really difficult for us to decide on the matter but we have to follow what the rules said,” said Romasanta.
He added that the number is final as far as the screening committee is concerned and its now defend on the Execom to add more numbers.
Also joining the teamare shooters Jason Valdez and JM Manusca, the team of sepak takraw, one sailing, one triathlon, four swimming and 2 more boxers and a BMX rider. Although, the women’s dragon boat needs to pass the final test on September 28, the committee already included the 22 boat paddlers.
The women’s basketball, meantime, was decided to cut off to the team after they failed to produce ample documents coming from the organizing committee.
The basketball draw is set on Oct. 7, while the SEABA championships which will be used as their ticket to the asiad is set on Oct. 12.
“Hindi na nila napakiusapan ang organizers, kung hindi sila makakasama sa draw baka tayo pa ang ma-sanctioned,” Romasanta added.
Romasanta, meantime, called athletes and coaches bound for Asian Games to attend in today’s general assembly meeting conducted by the POC-PSC Task Force and Monitoring team at the Rizal memorial Center.