THE participation of Perlas ng Pilipinas in the 27th Southeast Asian Games is suddenly hanging in the balance following its back-to-back losses at the end of its campaign in the Fiba-Asia Championship For Women’s in Bangkok, Thailand.
Philippine chef de mission Jeff Tamayo said the task force formed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission will have to meet again to assess and discuss the fate of the team for the December 11-22 biennial meet in Myanmar.
Apparently, the losses suffered by the Filipina cagebelles against Malaysia and Indonesia had a huge impact on their chances to make it as part of the PH delegation.
“Marami ngang nagtatanong dahil doon sa dalawang sunod na talo. Suddenly with this changes, the task force has to meet personally again kung ano ang official stand,” said Tamayo.
The task force initially challenged Discovery-Perlas ng Pilipinas to put up a respectable showing in Level II of the Fiba-Asia tilt in order to justify its inclusion in the country’s delegation to the SEA Games.
The team appeared to have locked the SEA Games berth after it stunned defending meet champion Thailand to book its third straight victory after earlier wins over Hong Kong and Uzbekistan.
Then came the shocking turn of events.
The team was eliminated for a shot at promotion in Level I after losing its last two games in the preliminaries against the Malaysians and Indonesians.
Tamayo himself admitted he was surprised by the development after it appeared the Filipinas were already a sure bet in the SEA Games following the victory over the Thais.
“This thing just turned 360 degrees talaga. Ano pa ang masasabi natin kundi kausapin ang task force because everything has to go through the task force,” said Tamayo.
The task force has set a strict criteria for inclusion in the Philippine team to this year’s SEA Games as POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco said only sure and potential gold medal winners will make the Myanmar trip.
“Natalo tayo ng dalawang sunod sa Southeast Asian countries so kung titignan mo, lumalabas bronze lang tayo,” Tamayo said.