POC withdraws participation of equestrian, women’s basketball in Guangzhou Asiad


CITING high cost in shipment for horses as primary reason, members of the national equestrian team bound for Asian Games unanimously decided to withdraw their participation in the quadrennial meet slated Nov. 12-27 in Guangzhou, China.

Likewise, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Asiad Task Force also withdrew officially the inclusion of the women’s basketball team as the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC) turned down the appeal of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) to reset the scheduled draw of lots on October 7.

“We already informed SBP secretary general Noli Eala about the decision to withdraw the women’s basketball team,” said Task Force head and RP Chief de Mission to Asiad Joey Romasanta.

Although, the cagebelles line up was included in the final list submitted by the POC, they need to win the gold medal in the coming SEABA meet set Oct. 22 to formalize their entry.

“There’s no change in the draw date so we have no choice but to withdraw the team officially. We have to do it so the POC avoid penalty and possible sanction,” claimed Task Force member Moying Martelino, former secretary general of the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC).

Steven Virata, the secretary general of the Equestrian Association of the Philippines (EAP), informed the POC about the collective decision of multi-titled Toni Leviste and upcoming riders Joker Arroyo and Michael Uyson not to participate in the their respective event for practical reason.

“To bring Toni (Leviste) horse from Europe to Guangzhou cost her $40,000. Under the quarantine law of China, you need to bring back the horse from its original origin. Toni’s horse is coming from Malaysia and ship to Paris, that will cost her at least $60,000,” said Virata in text message to Romasanta.

Arroyo and Uyson’s horses, meantime, is coming from the United States and the shipment according to the official forwarder of GACOG cost $50,000.

The cost in horses’ shipment is not included in the P30M approved budget by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

This latest development, according to former Gintong Alay chief, will be included in the report his committee announce in today’s POC General Assembly meeting at Wack Wack golf club.

The Asiad Task Force named 249 athletes who passed the criteria set for the Asiad. The list included the 48-member dragon boat team who still need to pass through the time trial set Oct. 8 at the Lamesa Dam.

In the list, softball will field 15 athletes, followed by billiards and snooker, which will have 14 players. Aquatics will have 13 athletes including four divers, while fielding 12 athletes each are chess, taekwondo, bowling, dancesports and men’s basketball.

Soft tennis has 10 athletes, athletics eight, and wushu and golf seven each. Completing the list are boxing (6), cycling (6), judo (6), karatedo (4), tennis (4), wrestling (4), equestrian (3), rowing (3), sailing (3), sepak takraw (3), shooting (3), archery (2), canoe (2), fencing (2), gymnastics (2), squash (2), triathlon (2) and weightlifting (2).

The RP team sent 233 athletes in the 2006 Doha Asian Games where the country finished with four gold, six silver and nine bronze medals.


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